Digging in the Dirt: January Chapter & Planting Highlights
Island Wildlife picked up right where they left off in 2022 with another fun and impactful workday. A motivated crew of 30 woke up early on a chilly morning and worked together to remove 305 pounds of plastic from Burnt Mill Creek in Wilmington, NC.
January 30, 2023
January chapter and planting highlights
North Carolina Wildlife Federation staff and Community Wildlife Chapter volunteers did a whole lot of environmental educating, wildlife watching, trail hiking, habitat restoring and more in January to promote healthy wildlife habitat and inspire people to get outside.
In total, 100-plus volunteers removed over 4 thousand pounds of trash and over 200 people were given the opportunity to connect with nature through one of NCWF’s various opportunities.
Thanks to partners such as the Duke Energy Foundation, Jandy Ammons Foundation and Burt’s Bees for helping make these habitat restorations, 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.
Nature Walk at Granite Falls Greenway, Dec 28. The Neuse River Hawks enjoyed a morning on the trail along the Granite Falls section of the Sanford Creek Greenway in Rolesville. Large granite boulders and flatrocks made for a pleasant view and a rich learning experience.
First Day Outdoors: Discover Your Trail, Jan 1. The Habitat and Wildlife Keepers (HAWK) kicked off the new year with a guided hike around some popular trails in Matthews, NC. 2023 has officially been dubbed “The Year of the Trail” and HAWK members are off to a great start exploring the state’s trail network and connecting with nature one step at a time.
Burnt Mill Creek Habitat Cleanup, Jan 7. Island Wildlife picked up right where they left off in 2022 with another fun and impactful workday. A motivated crew of 30 woke up early on a chilly morning and worked together to remove 305 pounds of plastic from Burnt Mill Creek in Wilmington, NC.
Guided Bird Tour at the Art Park, Jan 7. Local NCWF chapter members were treated to a guided bird walk by Ranger Chantal Taunton at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh. Chantal’s genuine enthusiasm for all things birds captivated the group and gave everyone a little bit more wind beneath their wings. The group saw over 25 species of birds including hooded mergansers, goldfinches, golden-crowned kinglets, yellow-bellied sapsuckers, red-shouldered hawks, brown-headed nuthatches and much much more.
Wintering Waterfowl Tour, Jan 12. Katerina Ramos treated a lucky group of NCWF members to a guided tour of the Pungo Unit to observe the magnificent migratory waterfowl including the charismatic tundra swans. The heaping flocks of tundra swans that migrate to the Pungo Unit each year is a true wildlife spectacle in North Carolina.
MLK Day of Service at Pocosin Lakes NWR, Jan 14. Volunteers gathered for a morning of community service at Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Volunteers removed litter from the waterways and discussed the importance of the refuge and reflected on strategies moving forward to protect this critical habitat.
Adopt-a-Highway Trash Cleanup, Jan 16. The NCWF partnered with its newest affiliate, the Piedmont Wildlife Center (PWC), for their very first cleanup as an Adopt-A-Highway partner. 10 eager volunteers met in Durham and enjoyed the satisfaction of a sunny morning filled with environmental stewardship as they cleaned up their designated 1.5 mile stretch.
Wintering Waterfowl Tour for NCWF Chapter Leaders, Jan 21. NCWF staff and chapter leaders were treated to a once in a lifetime experience to view the migratory waterfowl that reside within the Pungo Unit each winter. The group witnessed the elegant flight and sonic delight of tundra swans and snow geese in numbers seemingly uncountable. The group also had the chance to come together the night before around the fire and share a moment of appreciation for one another.
Build a Birdhouse Workshop, Jan 22. The Charlotte Wildlife Stewards hosted a birdhouse building workshop in preparation for the upcoming male blue bird nesting season. Each participant enjoyed an afternoon of camaraderie while building a birdhouse to take home.
Following Footprints: Make Your Own Stepping Stones, Jan 25. NCWF and Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge presented a free and creative program at Pocosin Arts School of Fine Craft in Columbia, NC. Participants used stamps and more to decorate a stone with prints of animals while learning about the animal’s role in the local ecosystem.
Greenway and Heritage Wetlands Nature Walk, Jan 27. The Neuse River Hawks led a group of 22 along the Smith and Sanford Creek Greenways through open fields and wetland habitat. Signs of wildlife were abundant despite the encroaching urban development. The group learned and discussed the critical importance of quality habitat within highly developed regions.
Piedmont Wildlife Center Habitat Workday, Jan 27. The NCWF joined forces with the Piedmont Wildlife Center to clean up around the historic home and along the trails of Leigh Farm in Durham. Volunteers removed over 800 pounds of trash and took a tour afterwards to see the park’s rescued raptors.
EcoKids: Winter Discovery Hike for Animal Signs, Jan 28. The South Wake Conservationists rambled with a group of curious Eco Kids and made a lot of discoveries! Led by Bonnie Eamick, the group encountered countless signs of animals such as pileated woodpecker holes, yellow-bellied-sapsucker holes, a deer bone that had been gnawed by a rodent, trails leading into holes at the base of tree, where a small mammal lived, and a variety of tracks left in the sand along the creek we followed. Tracks included coyote, deer, and even a skunk!
Litter Sweep at the Mouth of Ellerbe Creek, Jan 29. The NCWF and the Friends of the Mountains to Sea Trail continued their flourishing partnership with a habitat restoration event at the mouth of Ellerbe Creek in Durham. An intrepid crew of 42 volunteers bravely walked into the forest on a cold Sunday morning and came out with sore muscles and nearly 3 thousand pounds of trash.
Shelter Assembly for Recovering Foxes, Jan 29th. The Charlotte Wildlife Stewards built and donated two outdoor shelters for fox enclosures at the Carolina Wildlife Conservation Center. The shelters will provide enrichment for orphaned fox kits and/or foxes recovering from illness or injury prior to their release back into the wild.