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Big Mecklenburg wetland saved

One of the Charlotte region's largest remaining wetlands will soon be in public hands after Mecklenburg County commissioners approved a $4.2 million purchase.

The 23-acre wetland is part of a 90-acre tract near Davidson that commissioners agreed to buy Wednesday night. County parks officials envision it as the future site of a nature center, with trails and perhaps a boardwalk around the wetland.

Commissioners' vote ended months of negotiation with property owner FC Summers Walk LLC, developers of the Summers Walk community just west of the Cabarrus-Mecklenburg line.

While the developer had pledged to preserve the wetland, biologists say building new homes around it could ruin breeding habitat for frogs, turtles and salamanders.