Digging in the Dirt: June Planting and Chapter Projects

Neuse River Hawks chapter members took a nature walk at Dehart Botanical Gardens on June 22.
Neuse River Hawks chapter members took a nature walk at Dehart Botanical Gardens on June 22.

June planting and chapter highlights

North Carolina Wildlife Federation staff and Community Wildlife Chapter volunteers did a whole lot of wildlife watching, foraging, nature walking, paddling and pollinator celebrating in June to promote healthy wildlife habitat and get people outside. Director of Conservation Partnerships Tara Moore and Conservation Coordinator Luke Bennett share updates below. Explore our Events Calendar to find out where NCWF and our Wildlife Community Chapters are hosting in-person and virtual events near you.

Wild on the Water, June 4. Charlotte Wildlife Stewards gathered for a morning of paddling on the beautiful Mountain Island Lake for their annual fundraising event. Participants enjoyed a leisurely, guided paddle while learning about the different animal and plant life along this important Catawba River section. Sponsors donated nearly $3K worth of prizes for the 58 paddlers. Watch video by Ernie McClaney.

South Wake Conservationists Herp Walk, June 9. South Wake Conservationists found and learned about many different animals during a Herp Walk at Harris Lake County Park led by herpetologist Alvin Braswell. Traps were set prior to the walk at three other areas around the park. The first few traps revealed numerous yellow-bellied sliders, common snapping turtles, painted turtles and a musk turtle. The group also was pleased to find a host of other animals, including a cricket frog, a tadpole of some variety, multiple amphiumas (an aquatic salamander with a snake-like body and super tiny legs), a diving beetle, water scorpion, and mosquitofish. In addition, the group observed multiple freshwater fish species, including bluegill, warmouth and blue-spotted sunfish. Overall, it was a great morning spent outdoors, getting to see and learn about the wildlife we don’t usually get a chance to see up close in the wild!

Pollinator Celebration with the Neuse River Hawks, June 18. The Neuse River Hawks set up an educational booth at the Homewood Nursery’s Pollinator Day event. Their booth expressed the importance of native plants and pollinators in addition to information about the Neuse River Hawks. The chapter engaged in numerous conversations and received terrific feedback from folks that stopped by the booth. 

Neuse River Hawks Nature Walk at De Hart Botanical Gardens, June 22. The Neuse River Hawks met at De Hart Botanical Gardens for a sweaty morning with plant and animal identification led by chapter member Herb Amyx. Questions and answers bounced around as the group moseyed along the trails. Allen de Hart’s passion for nature, hiking, and education came to life this morning.

Drink & (Pollinator) Draw with Island Wildlife, June 22. The Island Wildlife chapter partnered with Luna Creative for an evening of chatting, kombucha drinking and pollinator coloring. Participants colored within and outside the lines while gathering information about pollinators and Island Wildlife. The event was held at Panacea Brewing in Wilmington, NC. 

The Fungus Among Us, June 25. NCWF hosted a Walks on the Wild Side event in Reidsville, NC.  mushroom education and foraging. Though conditions weren’t great for mushroom growth, the group learned a lot about mushrooms. Topics included the basics of foraging wild mushrooms, including when and where to look for them, what to avoid, the mushroom life cycle, how to identify and distinguish mushrooms, some basic types of edible wild mushrooms found in the area, and basic preparation and preservation of harvested mushrooms. Big thanks to Board Director Jon Wall and  Great Outdoors University Director Mary Bures for hosting the event despite the dry and hot weather. The next Walks on the Wild Side event is Where the Wildflowers Grow: Native Butterfly Walk on Aug. 27 at Pilot Mountain State Park.

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