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North Carolina
Native Plant Society
Southern Piedmont Chapter
In-Person plus Virtual Meeting
October 10, 2021  2:00pm-4:00pm

Prescribed Fire in an Urban Setting
Clint Brooks

  Reedy Creek Nature Center
2900 Rocky River Road  Charlotte NC 28215
Masks Required Indoors
In this newsletter...
Southern Piedmont Chapter October Meeting
Fall Hikes for Members  October-November
Seed Collection for December Meeting
BW Wells Stewardship Fund
Volunteer Opportunities
Resources for Designing and Planting Your Native Plant Garden
Join US
In case you missed it...

NCNPS Handouts
UNCC Native Plant Studies Classes

Prescribed Fire in an Urban Setting
Clint Brooks
Mecklenburg County - Natural Resources
October 10, 2021  2:00-4:00pm

In Person at Reedy Creek Nature Center or Virtual

Prefer to join us virtually? Click here to register.
Fire is an important element in helping certain native plants survive and thrive particularly in prairie ecosystems. A 21-year study by the Chicago Botanic Garden found that fires set back weeds, kill shrubs, and help plants flower and produce seeds for the next generation by improving pollination and reducing the isolation of individual flowering plants.  Join us in October as Clint Brooks of Mecklenburg County Natural Resources discusses prescribed burns in Mecklenburg County's nature preserves.
Clint Brooks thought he wanted to be a farmer when he got older. Once he discovered resource management, he never looked back. As a Natural Resources Supervisor, he manages a crew of three who remove invasive species, facilitate prescribed fire, monitor species of concern like endangered Schweinitz's Sunflowers and mark and maintain boundaries of Nature Preserves. He and his crew spend most days outside, exactly where he loves to be!
Counting Schweinitz's Sunflowers
Volunteers Needed
October 13th  11:30am
Help with the NC Plant Conservation's annual monitoring of federally endangered Schweinitz's Sunflower at Mineral Springs Barrens Preserve. If interested, contact Lisa Tompkins directly by email or by text/call at 704/877-6934.  Volunteers who aren't able to ID the sunflowers can record (we work in pairs). Long pants, sturdy shoes, insect repellent and water are recommended.
Fall is for Hiking with the Native Plant Society

Let's get outdoors with fellow native plant geeks this fall. The Southern Piedmont Chapter has organized some fun and interesting hikes for NCNPS members from mid-October through mid-November.  Take a bike tour or a walking tour through Myers Park to see Charlotte's treasure trees, hike the NC Gamelands with botanist Bruce Sorrie, take a fall color tour at UNCC Botanical Gardens, tour a member's private native garden, explore Redlair Preserve to see the big leaf magnolias and other native plants, and hike several local nature preserves.  You'll find sign-ups below.

These hikes are for NCNPS members only. 
Not a member?  Click here to join.
We would love to have you hike with us and our knowledgeable guides who will help you identify native plants.  Registration is required using the links below.  The walks will be limited to 12-14 members. Pets are not allowed.  Directions will be sent a few days prior to the hike.
Buffalo Creek Fall Hike
Mt. Pleasant NC
October 17  10-1
Mecklenburg County Naturalist Laura Domingo will lead this hike.  Expect to see a good demonstration of plant succession after a prescribed burn compared to areas that were left unburned.
Sandhills Gameland Hike
Hoffman NC

October 17  10-12
Botanist Bruce Sorrie will lead this tour of short easy walks into Gamelands habitats.  Expect to see Longleaf pine, wiregrass, Sandhill chaffhead, Michaux's sumac, beautiful grasses and more.
Sign Up
Home Native Garden Tour
Charlotte NC

October 24  2-4
Southern Piedmont Chapter member Carla Vitez will open her certified native plant garden featuring native plants, rain gardens and stream bank stabilization.
Sign Up
Redlair Preserve
Gaston County

October 24  2-4
Enjoy a rare opportunity to hike Redlair Preserve which is managed by the Friends of Plant Conservation. The Preserve is home to many Bigleaf Magnolias and other native plants. Haywood Rankin, Preserve Steward, will lead this tour.
Sign Up
Charlotte's Treasure Trees
Walking Tour

October 30  2-4
Treasure tree hunter, Brett Dupree will take you through the Myers Park neighborhood to see some of Charlotte's treasure trees including in Winghaven where a $10 donation for non-Winghaven members will be required.
Sign Up

Charlotte's Treasure Trees
Bicycle Tour

November 14  10-1
Prefer biking to walking?  Arborist Patrick George will lead a biking tour through the Myers Park neighborhood to see some of Charlotte's treasure trees including in Winghaven where a $10 donation for non-Winghaven members will be required.
Sign Up
Mellichamp Natives Terrace Walk
UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens

November 6   10-12
There always something to learn when Dr. Larry Mellichamp leads a tour in his namesake garden. Expect tips on seed collection and starting.
Sign Up
Latta Nature Preserve Hike
Huntersville NC

November 11  10-12
Hike with Mecklenburg County Naturalist Laura Domingo to see the Piedmont Prairie in fall, several burn succession areas and fall leaf color.
Sign Up

Fall Color Native Tree Hike
UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens

November 12   4-5
Amy Tipton will lead members through the glorious fall colors found on native trees in Van Landingham Glen.
Sign Up
Big Tree Museum at Historic Rosedale
Charlotte NC

November 13  10-12
Tour the Big Tree Museum at Historic Rosedale Plantation with Treasure Tree expert Brett Dupree.  Dr. Larry Mellichamp will also be on hand to discuss the gardens that have been restored with native plants. A $10 donation to Rosedale is required which includes an optional tour of the plantation house.
Sign Up
Time to Start Collecting Seeds
for our December Seed Share

The December Seed Share is one of our best attended meetings. See tips for preparing your seeds for the seed share and ethical guidelines for wild seed collection below.
How to Prepare Your Seeds
for the Seed Share
  • Place the cleaned seeds in small packets with a teaspoonful for smaller seeds or 3-4 if they are large.
  • Use paper envelopes or plastic bags labeled with both the common name and the scientific name.
  • Beth Davis will bring small coin envelopes to the October meeting for you to pick up and use for your seeds.
SPC member and volunteer, Craig Maxwell recommends a podcast called A Way to Garden. He shared a recent program on planting native seeds in our Facebook group.   According to Craig: 
"Two recommendations I hadn’t heard before: 1) cover seeds with sand rather than soil to allow more light and air and to better protect from heavy rains
2) native seeds of the same plant often prefer to be sown closer together, moved together into a bigger pot in the spring/summer, and then finally divided up the following fall when their roots have had time to develop."
Find the podcast at this link.
Guidelines for Ethical Wild Seed Collection
NCNPS supports the use of native plants in landscaping and ecological restoration, and encourages the collection and sharing of seeds, spores and cuttings from native plants on your own property. We must, however, recognize the sensitivity of these plants as well as the wild environments in which they grow. With the goal of plant conservation and maintaining healthy native plant populations in mind, NCNPS has developed the following guidelines for the ethical collection of native plant propagules from natural areas.
Read the guidelines here.
B.W. Wells Stewardship Fund
What is the B.W. Wells Stewardship Fund?  This North Carolina Native Plant Society fund supports projects to restore and maintain natural plant communities, install native plant gardens and educate people about native plants and their habitats.  Since 2002 NCNPS has awarded BW Wells grants to an array of projects from small bogs and pollinator patches to large native gardens and restorations.  Often these grants are awarded due to the efforts of just one or two individuals in an organization but result in big changes over time.

In Charlotte, a BW Wells grant provided the seed money for two community organizers who wanted to remove invasive plants and plant native trees and shrubs along the stream in Latta Park.  This small grant eventually led to a volunteer corps of almost 200 to plant hundreds of native species in the park and inspired county commissioners to budget $200,000 yearly for invasive removal in county nature preserves.

Watch the 3 minute video below to learn about Fund projects and read more here.
Volunteer Opportunities
Kids in Nature Day   Reedy Creek Park
Who can resist creating seed bombs?! Thank you to NCNPS member, Mandy Bloom, for sharing her  passion for native plants at the Charlotte Wildlife Stewards annual Kids In Nature Day (KIND). The event occurred on September 19 at Reedy Creek Park. Our young friends mixed clay, compost soil, and a wildflower seed mix that included Blackeyed Susan, Coreopsis species, and Milkweed species among others. This mix was then rolled into balls that were ready to be planted. We LOVE teaching the next generation about NC’s botanical wealth. 
If you’re interested in participating in volunteer activities email Beth Davis, at to sign up. We are looking for 2 volunteers to share native plant information with HAWK (Habitat and Wildlife Keepers) KIND on Oct. 16 from 10-1 at Squirrel Lake Park in Matthews.
We’re looking for passionate native plant gardeners to assist UNC Charlotte Botanical Garden’s Ed Davis in weeding and mulching the new native plant meadow at Barton Creek Greenway. Volunteering with Ed and other native plant friends is a great way to learn more about hardy native plants that thrive in a native sunny meadow.  Sign up at this link.
Barton Creek Greenway volunteers at the new native plant meadow.
Resources for Designing
and Planting Your Native Plant Garden
Thinking about starting a native plant garden or adding natives to your current landscaping?  Here are some resources for your landscaping projects this fall.
Pocket Prairies
Do you have a "hell strip" at your house?  An area between the curb and the sidewalk that needs some attention?  Create your own pocket prairie with native plants.  Click on the photo below to watch a 3-minute video from Duke Gardens that shows how they created a pocket prairie in a parking lot.

Please note that some municipalities and homeowners associations may regulate the height of vegetation in the areas between the the sidewalk and the curb.  Be sure to research the local municipal ordinances or community covenants before selecting plants for your pocket prairie.

Just released!  A guide to landscaping your NC Piedmont garden with native plants from the North Carolina Native Plant Society.  This useful booklet suggests and describes best Piedmont native shrubs, trees, ferns, grasses and sedges and flowering perennials.  Download your copy at this link.
Fall Native Plant Sales
One of the best places to buy native plants is the fall plant sale at UNCC BG.  In-person this year, the sale runs from September 30-October 2.  Learn more here.
Although not exclusively a native plant sale, Winghaven's fall plant sale often offers native plants.  The sale runs from October 13-15 this year.  Learn more here.
Reference Books about Native Plants

Learn more about planning your own home native plant garden with this new book by Dr. Larry Mellichamp and Paula Gross with photos by Will Stuart.

To order from the UNC Charlotte Botanical Garden click here.

Native Plants of the Southeast  by Dr. Larry Mellichamp with photos by Will Stuart can be ordered from the UNC Charlotte Botanical Garden by clicking here.

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 links below to watch the zoom recordings of the speakers at our last two meetings.
Dr. Larry Mellichamp takes you on a tour of various types of carnivorous plants native to the Carolinas. Then learn about where these green fiends live when Amy Tipton explains bog ecology.  Watch here.
Join Mark Warren of the Medicine Bow Wilderness School as he discusses how some of the most common native trees and plants were used by the Cherokee for food, medicine, insect repellant, crafts, shelter and fire.  Watch here.
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.
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NC Native Plant Society · PO Box 5907 · Greensboro, NC 27435-5907 · USA

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