Digging in the Dirt: July Chapter Highlights

Untitled design - 2023-07-28T143804.220

North Carolina Wildlife Federation staff and Community Wildlife Chapter volunteers did a whole lot of environmental educating, invasive removing, pollinator gardening, wildlife watching, nature exploring, habitat restoring and more in July to promote healthy wildlife habitat and inspire people to get outside. In total, 100-plus volunteers were engaged. Over 75 people were given the opportunity to connect with nature through one of NCWF’s various opportunities this month. 

Thanks to partners such as the Duke Energy Foundation, Jandy Ammons Foundation and Burt’s Bees for helping make these habitat restoration workdays, educational programs and nature outings possible. Explore our Events Calendar to discover where NCWF and our Community Wildlife Chapters are hosting in-person and virtual events near you. Check out a few highlights below from our conservation outreach team.

Forest Ridge Pollinator Habitat Workday, June 30. The Neuse River Hawks Conservationists added forty-nine perennials (mostly milkweed species) to the Forest Ridge Pollinator Garden in Wake Forest. The chapter also gave the garden a thorough weeding and mulching. This past year, the NRHC have provided 446 hours of volunteer service at Forest Ridge. This includes daily garden and nest watch monitoring, group workdays, and the installation of a state of the art nature lending library.


Bear Walk for NCWF Chapter Leaders, July 7. Chapter leaders from across the state were guided by NCWF staff Kat Ramos and Laura Frazier on a bear walk at Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. The group was filled with wonder and awe as they observed wildlife from a distance while sweating in the thick coastal heat and humidity!


Bolin Creek Invasive Plant Removal, July 16. NCWF’s newest chapter, the Tri-County Conservationists (Alamance, Orange, Chatham), held their inaugural chapter event. The intrepid crew tackled a much needed invasive removal project along Bolin Creek in Chapel Hill. Despite the intimidating privet and wisteria that plagued the habitat, the workday was characterized by a healthy dose of optimism and genuine comradery among the volunteers. Keep on the lookout for more events with this chapter!


Crowder Park Garden Workday, July 17. The South Wake Conservationists grabbed their gardening tools and tackled a much needed weeding workday at Crowder Park in Apex. Many of the native plants that were added last year are now blooming with life and attracting all sorts of pollinators.


Art in Nature Camp, July 17-21. NCWF and Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge hosted summer campers for a nature filled day of fun. The kids explored the refuge, foraged for art supplies, and created unique crafts inspired by the surrounding ecosystem.


ecoEXPLORE Introduction to Entomology, July 22. NCWF’s Refuge Community Organizer, Laura Frazier, hosted an ecoEXPLORE program at Pocosin Lakes NWR. What makes an insect an insect? What’s the difference between moths and butterflies? The kids discussed questions like these while observing insect collections.


Hops & Beehives: Tour of Lomax Farm, July 22. Gather Ye Honey and Cabarrus Homebrewers Society shared their passion for honey and hops with the Concord Wildlife Alliance at the Elma C. Lomax Farm. 


NC Art Park Bluebird Box Installation, July 25. The South Wake Conservationists’ successful bluebird program continued its hot streak with 7 new bluebird houses installed at the beautiful NC Museum of Art Park in Raleigh. We’re looking forward to next spring when the bluebirds move in!


Holly Springs Food Cupboard Garden Workday & Tour, July 26. The South Wake Conservationists had a nice time working (and sweating!) side-by-side at the Holly Springs Food Cupboard (HSFC) this morning. Weeds in the pollinator gardens didn’t stand a chance with this crew, and some even ventured into the adjoining woods to tackle the encroaching growth of Japanese stiltgrass.


Pollinator Garden Workday (Durham), July 26. NCWF’s Durham Community Organizer, Seana Finn, led a group of volunteers at Watts Baptist in Durham. The crew continued an ongoing project to turn the land into pollinator habitat that benefits wildlife and the community!


Sandy Pines Nature Preserve Invasive Removal, July 27. NCWF and Wake County Open Space hosted volunteers at Sandy Pines Nature Preserve in Wendell. The crew removed invasive species, primarily tree of heaven, that have been steadily creeping into the preserve’s meadows.


Pre-K Nature Programs at Pocosin Lakes NWR. NCWF hosted Pre-K activities for kids. Activities included wildlife tracking after reading Track that Scat and giant butterfly creation after reading From Caterpillar to Butterfly.


Summer Reading Program: Owl Pellets, July 27. NCWF offered a presentation on native North Carolina owls. Participants dissected owl pellets to learn more about their diets and surrounding ecosystem.

Written by:


– Tara Moore, NCWF Director of Conservation Partnerships 


Luke Bennett


– Luke Bennett, NCWF Conservation Coordinator


Laura Frazier


– Laura Frazier, Refuge Community Organizer

Recent News and Blogs