Prairie Near Charlotte, NC, Preserved
Charlotte, NC, 12/6/01 – The Trust for Public Land and Mecklenburg County have protected more than 23 acres on Shuffletown Prairie, a remnant Piedmont prairie within minutes of downtown Charlotte. The prairie, which is a globally rare plant community, has miraculously survived even as extensive development has engulfed it.
When local landowners learned that there were endangered plant species on their properties, they partnered with TPL and Mecklenburg County to help protect an irreplaceable piece of the Piedmont’s natural heritage. TPL acquired 4 properties totaling 8.5 acres and conveyed them to Mecklenburg County for use in the County’s environmental education program. Last year this program reached more than 13,000 schoolchildren, most of whom live in urban areas.
TPL also assisted the County with the acquisition of 3 properties donated by EWRD Perry-Riverbend, LLC. The donated properties total 15.3 acres.
“The preservation of this historic ecosystem so close to the heart of Charlotte is a major accomplishment in this era of tremendous growth in our city,” said TPL project manager Maggie Clancy. According to the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Shuffletown Prairie is the only site in the Piedmont of North Carolina known to contain two federally endangered plant species, Schweinitz’s sunflower and smooth coneflower, as well as several other rare prairie and glade species. Shuffletown Prairie is a designated Natural Heritage Site of National Significance.
The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national conservation organization dedicated to protecting land for people. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 1.2 million acres nationwide valued at $2 billion. TPL has helped protect more than 10,000 acres across North Carolina, from the shores of Mountain Island Lake to the headwaters of the Chattooga River. The Wall Street Journal’s Smart Money magazine recently named TPL the nation’s most efficient large conservation charity for the second year in a row, based on the percentage of funds dedicated to programs. For more information, please visit www.tpl.org.