Davidson Lands Conservancy events draw community to nature
Friday, Oct. 18, 2013

Davidson Lands Conservancy events draw community to nature

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/10/15/16/47/SkKn.Em.138.jpeg|200
    Nature enthusiasts at last year’s Saturday in the Park event gave bird watching a try.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/10/15/16/47/8XEjU.Em.138.jpeg|380
    Young campers enjoy last year’s Saturday in the Park event.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/10/15/16/47/lThKj.Em.138.jpeg|200
    Nature enthusiasts at last year’s Saturday in the Park event gave bird-watching a try.

On Nov. 9, the Davidson Lands Conservancy will host its third annual Saturday in the Park, at Fisher Farm Park in Davidson. The event will be a laid-back and fun day of enjoying what Conservancy President Rodney Graham calls “Two hundred acres of largely unspoiled nature.”

Activities will include nature hikes lead by local naturalists, kids’ games, a reading of Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax” by DLC board member Cakey Worthington, and casual walks to the stream and bamboo forest. Graham said impromptu soccer games have been popular at past events. Attendees have also used the event to try out “birding” – bird-watching. The day will end with a bonfire, s’mores, and camping out under starry skies.

The event has attracted 75 to 100 people in past years.

“We are trying to engage people with nature and give them the opportunity to experience conservation first hand,” said Graham.

He is no stranger to enjoying the lands DLC seeks to conserve. He said that though he doesn’t recall exactly why this park was selected for the event, “it was probably an excuse for me to camp out at Fisher Farm.”

The park is indeed beautiful and versatile. It offers meadows, forests, a stream, and mountain biking and hiking trails. It is just miles from downtown Davidson, at 21215 Shearer Road.

The Davidson Lands Conservancy, founded in 2000, is a nonprofit whose mission is to conserve natural lands and open spaces for the citizens of Davidson. It is one of 24 land trusts in North Carolina, according to Graham.

The DLC enters into conservation easements with willing property owners, which restrict development on the land in order to conserve wildlife and plant habitats, open spaces and views, and air and water quality.

“We’ve entered into conservation easements with three new property owners in the past year, totaling about 75 acres of land that is now permanently protected,” said Graham. “We have a letter of intent on another 27 acres of very unique habitat that we hope to put under easement very soon.”

Graham says “perpetuity” is an important word to the Davidson Lands Conservancy. Perpetuity means that once an easement is made, that land is protected for the long term.

“It is gratifying to know that when we place a property under conservation easement, that easement will live on and protect the property long after we are gone,” said Graham. “The DLC really does make a difference in protecting our natural spaces for generations to come.”

Another way the Conservancy encourages the community to enjoy nature is by hosting Stargazing at Fisher Farm Park, from 8 to 10 p.m. Oct. 25. Stargazing is also sponsored by the WOW (World of Wonder) program, a partnership between the DLC and Woodland Discovery. Equipment and information on stargazing will be provided by the Davidson College’s physics department and the Charlotte Astronomy Club.

A third upcoming event will be a Nov. 2 tree planting by TreesDavidson, a group Graham said the DLC is “incubating.” The group’s goal is to increase the tree canopy in Davidson. It is modeled after TreesCharlotte.

Marjorie Dana is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Marjorie? Email her at marjorie.dana@yahoo.com.

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