I’m excited to announce that we only have $1888 left to raise on our $75,000 goal. We’ll be continuing to post to instagram and facebook about this effort through the end of January, so please do your part by liking and forwarding on any messages you see about the end of year campaign to prospective donors. If we can significantly surpass our goal, we can begin to look at the many unfunded priorities we wanted to tackle in 2020!
On Saturday the weather was perfect for a hike around Beaver Marsh Preserve and on the trail that follows the Army Corps of Engineers berm that artificially separates the creek from the marsh and forested floodplain. I am always struck by this beautiful floodplain forest. Even though it’s in an urban area, it’s actually a fairly high quality intact example of a functioning floodplain ecosystem. It’s got a lot of challenges (I’ll outline those below) but what a chance we have to keep this forest intact and allow it to continue to be great habitat for all of these creatures we normally don’t find in the city (like the cricket pictured here that I stumbled on during my hike).
We’ve got huge ecological problems on the horizon, but as a strong organization with lots of volunteer stewardship energy and a growing professional staff, we can actually manage these areas in a more responsible way than is possible in rural areas without the same resources. So I’m just really excited about all the possibilities in 2020 and hope that you are as well. Together we’re going to accomplish some really amazing things this year.
Happy New Year,
The Land Protection Committee met this week to discuss a number of exciting potential opportunities for future nature preserve acquisition. In particular, I’m most excited that we may have the chance connect the current Veasey Nature Preserve with Glennstone through a potential future land purchase. This would not only allow us to connect natural areas from the Ellerbe floodplain to our Veasey lands, but would also provide an opportunity to connect trails to any future Ellerbe Creek greenway that runs downstream from the city of Durham.
I try to keep tabs on the Planning, Environmental Affairs Board, and City Council meeting agendas to make sure we know about the topics they are considering and have time to respond if we feel the need to do so. For those of you interested in staying up to speed on local politics and decisionmaking, the Durham City Council meeting is tonight (Monday, Dec. 16th). Even if you don’t attend, it’s useful to look at the agenda to see what they are working on for any given month. The agendas can be found at https://durhamnc.gov/AgendaCenter/City-Council-4.
And I’m VERY excited about a small event/workday that our stewardship coordinator is pulling together for this Friday, Dec. 20th. Some of us will be out with any available stewards burning the brush piles that were created when clearing out trees in our future potential woodland/prairie restoration in Glennstone. For me, this is a test run to see if we can consider having a larger solstice burn event in conjunction with prairie restoration. It’s something I was involved in when I lived in Chicago and we were restoring woodlands and prairies there, and I found it to be one of the most exciting ways to engage the public (I mean, who doesn’t love standing by a fire on the first day of winter out in the middle of nature).
Peace, love, beaver,