WAKE COUNTY PARKS, RECREATION AND OPEN SPACE IS EXCITED TO BEGIN PLANNING THREE NEW NATURE PRESERVES!

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Wake County began acquiring open space in 2000 with the goal of protecting and conserving land and water resources for current residents and future generations. To date, the county has acquired or assisted in the acquisition of 8,486 acres.

The development of Nature preserves are part of this mission and are developed in a manner to provide limited passive recreation opportunities, such as hiking, paddling and horseback riding, while protecting significant natural resources and/or habitats.

 

And now, Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space is excited to announce that Little River, Buffalo Creek, and Swift Creek have been identified as potential nature preserves here.

Little River

             

Little River in northeastern Wake County is almost 3,700 acres of wetlands, vast open fields, and forested area. With diverse vegetation and topography, the site offers a variety of recreation and environmental education opportunities while preserving sensitive habitats and ecosystems. Activities may include mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, wildlife observation and horseback riding.

 

With diverse vegetation and topography, the site offers a variety of recreation and environmental education opportunities while preserving sensitive habitats and ecosystems. Activities may include mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, wildlife observation and horseback riding.  

The preserve will seek greenway connections to Zebulon, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Sandy Pines Preserve and the future Buffalo Creek Nature Preserve. Several points of access will be included to accommodate the communities surrounding the area, as well as make it easier for users to reach their favorite destination hubs. 

         Buffalo Creek 

Buffalo Creek, located in eastern Wake County, includes just over 900 acres of blackwater cypress swamp and adjacent upland habitat. This natural heritage blackwater cypress swamp is the only habitat of this type in Wake County and features flora and fauna more common to the coastal plain. Representing an expansion of Robertson Millpond Preserve, this preserve could feature hiking trails, accessible paths, kayak launch and rental facilities, group camping area, mountain bike trails, fishing pond, day use picnic areas, demonstration prairie, wildlife viewing platforms, nature play and learning opportunities.

The preserve represents an expansion of Robertson Millpond Preserve and serves to balance habitat protection, land management and recreational access to provide unique nature experiences for all to enjoy. Recreational opportunities may include hiking trails, accessible paths, kayak launch and rental facilities, group camping area, mountain bike trails, fishing pond, day use picnic areas, demonstration prairie, wildlife viewing platforms, nature play and learning opportunities.  

 

The preserve’s vision includes a carefully sited, multiuse greenway to connect the local community with a network of protected lands, including connections to Sandy Pines Preserve, the future Little River Preserve and Wendell.

 

                                                                                         Swift Creek 

Swift Creek is in southern Wake County and includes about 2,800 acres of land owned by municipalities (Cary, Garner and Raleigh). The nature preserve is wooded and includes significant wetlands, floodplain, and wildlife habitat. The natural surface trails provide opportunities for hiking, walking, environmental education, birdwatching, and wildlife overlooks.

Swift Creek Nature Preserve lies along the Swift Creek corridor from Lake Wheeler to Lake Benson. The preserve aims to protect the corridor’s natural resources while offering the community access to nature and recreation opportunities.

 

The nature preserve is wooded and includes significant wetlands, floodplain, and wildlife habitat. The natural surface trails provide opportunities for hiking, walking, environmental education, birdwatching, and wildlife overlooks. The preserve’s trails will complement the future Swift Creek Greenway, which is planned to connect to the Cary and Garner greenway systems as well as surrounding residential communities.  

The corridor includes over 2,800 acres of land owned by Wake County, Town of Garner, City of Raleigh, and conservation easements on privately held land. 

Wake County’s Commitment to open space

Nature preserves such as these are minimally developed to provide limited passive recreation opportunities, such as hiking, paddling and horseback riding, while protecting significant natural resources and/or habitats.

Wake County began acquiring open space in 2000 with the goal of protecting and conserving land and water resources for current residents and future generations. To date, the county has acquired or assisted in the acquisition of 8,486 acres.

 

Funding from the 2018 Parks, Recreation, Greenway, and Open Space voter-approved bond will be used to produce the concept plans for these preserves.

 

Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space wants your input

While the on-line citizen’s survey for these new parks is now closed, Wake County Parks would still like input from its citizens as to how these lands should be developed.  Below you will find a list of some of the questions asked in the survey, and you are welcome to email your answers and other suggestions to prosplan@wakegov.com

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