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North Carolina
Native Plant Society
Southern Piedmont Chapter
April 2022 Meeting

Pressed Plants and Pinned Insects
Biological Collections of Mecklenburg County

April 10, 2022  2:00pm
Reedy Creek Nature Center
In this newsletter...
Pressed Plants and Pinned Insects  April Meeting
Spring Hikes and Garden Tours
2022 NCNPS Spring Outing
2022 Spring Plant Sales
2022 NCNPS Annual Meeting/Picnic
Volunteer Opportunities
Join Us
In case you missed it...

NCNPS Handouts
UNCC Native Plant Studies Classes

Celebrate Spring
with Southern Piedmont Chapter Members

Hike to see wildflowers, tour private native gardens and learn about Mecklenburg County biological collections.

Not a member? Join us to meet other NCNPS local members who share your passion for native plants.

Join Here
A huge thanks to Sara Byrd, Liz Wahls and Beth Davis for their work in creating the registration forms for the events in this newsletter. This behind the scenes work takes hours and makes our events manageable.  Enoy our spring events.
April 10, 2022 
Pressed Plants and Pinned Insects
The Biological Collections of Mecklenburg County

Reedy Creek Nature Center
2986 Rocky River Road
2:00pm  In-Person Members Only

Beyond the exhibit hall in Reedy Creek Nature Center lies an established herbarium, zoological collection, and laboratory that collectively form the Dr. James F. Matthews Center for Biodiversity Studies (CBS). Within the CBS, Natural Resources staff and volunteers work to document our biodiversity and preserve the natural history of Mecklenburg County and beyond. Learn about the history of the CBS and the current work that is happening within this unique facility. After the presentation, participants will have an opportunity to tour the CBS, as well as the native plant gardens located outside of the nature center.

Presenters:  Lenny Lampel and Dr. Jim Matthews

NCNPS Members only, limited to 50 participants, registration required.

Jim Matthews retired from the Biology Dept. at UNCC after 30+ years.  During that time he developed a herbarium focusing on the flora of Mecklenburg County, surrounding counties and to some extent the SE.   Upon his retirement the County was able to move the collection to Reedy Creek Park. Support by the County has allowed continued growth, providing data on the flora of the county and the eastern U.S.  The collection now approaches 50,000 specimens. The herbarium is a valuable asset to Parks and Recreation, providing a hands on repository of the flora of the county.  It helps the staff to know what is growing in the county and can be helpful in understanding changes in the flora over time as the county continues to grow.   

Lenny Lampel is a Natural Resources Supervisor with Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation’s Division of Nature Preserves and Natural Resources.  He is the Curator for the Dr. James F. Matthews Center for Biodiversity Studies and is also responsible for the management of biological assessments and inventories, the monitoring of federal and state listed rare plant species and the coordination of various fauna and flora studies and projects. Lenny holds an MS in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Conservation Biology from Antioch University New England and a BA in Biology from SUNY College at Old Westbury.  Lenny lives in Concord, NC with his wife, three kids and their big furry dog and cat.
New Registration System for All Spring Events

Registration is through the NCNPS member site on Wild Apricot.  Use the Register link to sign up. When you click the link, you will be prompted to log in using your user name (email) and a password.  If you haven’t logged in before, select forgot password to create your own password. You must use the same email address that you used when you became a member.
Once you have logged in you can register for the event. Final event details will be sent with the confirmation email. For hikes, you will be prompted to read and acknowledge the liability waiver as you register. We will maintain a waiting list so if you later find you cannot attend, please cancel your registration so that others may have a spot for the event. 

Not a member?  Join here.

Note: Events may be cancelled if fewer than 4 people register.
Southern Piedmont Chapter
Spring Hikes and Garden Tours
April and May 2022
Members Only Events

40-Acre Rock Hike
with Amy Tipton

When: 02 Apr 2022 10:00 AM, EDT
Where: 40 Acre Rock Preserve
on Conservancy Rd, Kershaw, SC 29067


Join Amy Tipton at 40 Acre Rock in Kershaw, South Carolina.  Standing atop the gigantic granitic rock, you feel on top of the world, or close to it. Mosses and lichens thrive there. Bright purple compass plant and wild azalea bloom early. A dozen rare, threatened, or endangered plant and wildlife species are protected here, including nodding trillium and the green violet or hybanthus. Blue cohash, usually found only in the mountains, grows in the preserve. Longleaf pine and turkey oak, trees typical of the Sandhills, are here, too.


Mineral Springs Greenway
with Lisa Tompkins

When:  April 9  10-12am
Where:  McNeely Road  Waxhaw NC
You won't find a better guide for this easy to moderate hike than Lisa Tompkins who lives adjacent to the Greenway.  Follow the rocky creek and changing elevation along the trail where volunteers have removed numerous invasives to reveal the natural beauty of many natives. Expect to see pinxter azaleas, lanceleaf anenome, horsesugar, dimpled trout lily and many more.

In Search of the Pink Lady Slipper
with Laura Domingo

When:  May 8  1-3pm
Where:  Reedy Creek Nature Preserve


April showers bring May flowers! Explore the Umbrella and Big Oak trails with Laura Domingo as we look for what is in bloom. This will be a slow paced hike of 1 ½ to 2 miles on moderate (hilly) terrain. We will be making frequent stops to look at and discuss what we are seeing. We are hoping to find the Pink Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium acaule) and Bigleaf Snowbell (Styrax grandifolius).

Tour Five Private Native Plant Gardens

Tour the private gardens of Southern Piedmont Chapter members whose gardens have been designated as Certified Native Plant Habitat by the North Carolina Native Plant Society. The certification program recognizes those home gardeners who work to remove invasives and develop a native plant habitat and healthy native environment. Want to get your garden certified?  Learn more here.

Davis Garden
When: April 9  2-4pm
Where: South Charlotte

Visit the native woodland garden of Beth and Bob Davis, a suburban garden designed to feed and shelter wildlife. Expect to see early to mid-spring natives like coral honeysuckle, shooting stars, mayapple, green and gold, phlox, ginger and many more. The tour includes a greenhouse for starting seeds and mossy areas in deep shade.

Fox Garden
When:  April 16  1-3pm
Where:  Matthews area

When you arrive at the Jon and Carol Fox property, you'll think it's a typical suburban yard. Walk to the back of the house and you'll discover a botanically rich landscape with a black gum/sourwood grove, oak and hickory forest and wetland area above a stream with wildflowers, fringe trees, ironwood and native azaleas. Expect to see a colony of atamasco lilies, a water run-off system that includes a dry stream bed ending in a rain garden and diverse native plantings.

Walker Garden
When:  April 24  2-4pm
Where:  Weddington

Hallie Walker's garden was born from the devastation of Hurricane Hugo in 1989. After losing 90 pines on her two-acre lot, Hallie set out to welcome insects and birds with native plants. Expect to see mighty trees, understory and ground-level plantings. Hallie says her biggest challenge is keeping out invasives from the adjacent farmland.

Vagnoni Garden
When:  May 1  2-4pm
Where:  Huntersville

After moving to Charlotte from Chicago and realizing that her garden lacked a connection to nature, Libby Vagnoni embarked on a mission to prove that suburban yards are attainable and beneficial to wildlife. She spent the last four years removing non-natives and converting her front and side yards to native plantings. Expect to see eighty flowers and bushes and a foodscape in and around the flowers.

Fawcett Garden
When:  April 23  2-4pm
Where:  Mint Hill

Carrie Fawcett has a lovely two-acre woodland garden with abundant spring ephemerals, a moss garden and a rain garden. Expect to see trillium, mayapple, spring beauty, celandine poppies, green and gold, dogwood, redbud, fringe tree and numerous ferns.
2022 NCNPS Spring Outing  Smoky Mountains
April 29-May 1
Join native plant enthusiasts from across the state for a weekend of hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park area. NCNPS members and non-members are welcome for this event.
Learn More and Register
2022 Spring Plant Sales
Winghaven Plant Sale
April 6-9
Learn more
UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens
April 7-9
Learn more
Native Plant Sale at Mecklenburg County McDowell Nature Center
April 22-24
Make a difference in the lives of local youth.
100% of sales benefit the Urban Outdoor Connection Camp scholarship fund.
Check with Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Nature Centers for more information.
2022 NCNPS Annual Meeting/Picnic/Plant Sale and Auction
June 11 9:30am-3:00pm

Help us make this event, held for the first time in the Charlotte region, a success!
We are deep into our planning for the annual meeting/picnic to be held on Saturday, June 11th at Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, NC. This will be the Southern Piedmont Chapter’s first year of coordinating the picnic. In order for it to be a success we need volunteers. Our list is growing but the more the merrier and the smoother the day goes. Some of the specific needs we have are greeters, set-up and clean-up, plant coordinators (accepting donations, setting up plants, helping folks with their purchases), food assistant, hike leader, runners and more. Click the button below to give us a hand.
Give Us a Hand at the Picnic
The plant sale and auction is a fundraiser for the Society. We need your donations.   As you work in your garden this spring, pot up those extra plants that you've dug up or divided for the plant sale. Be sure to label each plant as you pot it up.  
Mandy Bloom will be supervising the plant sale and auction. She would like to get an idea of who will be bringing plants, what plants to expect and what plants are suitable for the auction. Click the button below to let Mandy know what plants you intend to bring. If you aren’t sure, just let her know that you will bring something for the plant sale.
Tell Mandy You're Donating Plants for the Sale
Spring Volunteer Opportunities
Share Your Love of Native Plants This Spring
Who Doesn't Love to Talk about Native Plants?

The Southern Piedmont Chapter is looking for passionate native plant volunteers to share your enthusiasm for incorporating native plants in your home garden.  Many members combine their love of gardening with their passion for  providing ecosystem benefits to the varied wildlife around them. If you have 2-4 hours to share with the community please contact Beth Davis, SP Chapter Volunteer coordinator at

Please join Southern Piedmont Chapter members and volunteers at the spring events listed below.

   April 23, Matthews Earth Day, Squirrel Lake Park, Matthews

   April 23, Statesville Arbor Day, Statesville Park and Soccer Complex

   April 30, Belmont Historical Society Living History Day

   May 14, A Dozen Years of Digging Festival, Winterfield Community Garden, Charlotte

Find more details about each event and sign up at this link. Once you open the link scroll through the volunteer opportunities list to find these Southern Piedmont Chapter events.

Mandy Bloom and Amanda O'Hora had a great time talking about native plants at the 2021 Belmont Living History Day.

Volunteers Needed at Reedy Creek Nature Center
The spring ephemerals are popping up, but so are the weeds. Reedy Creek Nature Center is looking for volunteers to help pull weeds in our native plant gardens. Join us on Friday, April 22 at 10am or Saturday, April 30 at 11:30am to help keep the gardens in good shape.
Email if you are interested in volunteering.

Join Us.
Support the mission of the North Carolina Native Plant Society.

Get to know your fellow native plant enthusiasts.
Don't miss any of our members-only hikes and events.

Annual membership only $25 for individuals and $35 for families.

In case you missed it...
Use the link below to watch the zoom recording of our last online meeting.
In March, mushroom farmer Josh Partridge spoke with us about mycology fundamentals and answered questions about growing mushrooms in your own backyard.
In February, Dr. Larry Mellichamp discussed how plant families were identified and categorized over the centuries and then took us on a tour of the mysterious blueberry family.
NCNPS has four handouts to help you select native plants for your garden.  They are Favorite Native Plants for the Garden, A Native Plant Color Palette for the Garden, Native Groundcovers for the Garden and Ferns.  You can download a copy of these handouts at this link.
UNCC Certificate in Native Plant Studies

UNCC Botanical Gardens has new classes in its Native Plant Studies certificate program.  They include basic and advanced botany, sustainable gardening, landscape design, soils and wildflower ID.  Click on this link for more information and to register for classes.
Engage with Us on Social Media
Facebook  Southern Piedmont Chapter Page
Facebook  Charlotte Chapter Group
Instagram  @ncnps.spchapter
YouTube    ncwildflowers
Copyright © 2022 North Carolina Native Plant Society  Southern Piedmont Chapter   All rights reserved.

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