Land preservation

Piedmont prairies offer glimpses of region's distant past

The Shuffletown prairie sits under power lines in northwestern Mecklenburg County. Photo: Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Only about a dozen of these rare landscapes remain in the Charlotte region, but those that have been protected are doing well, experts say. 

Cheap land? Low prices frustrate cash-strapped preservationists

The unfinished Abersham development near Davidson is now a county park. Photo: John Chesser A Faison subdivision off Beatties Ford Road and Abersham near Davidson were purchased by Mecklenburg County for parks, after the developments stalled. But generally, the region's land conservationists lack money to protect tantalizing properties available after the financial crash. 

When wetlands aren't so wet anymore

Pools finally returned in recent weeks to Flat Branch Nature Preserve The Flat Branch Nature Preserve, in the southernmost tip of Mecklenburg County, holds the county’s largest remaining upland depression swamp forest. It's a place where water naturally fills forest depressions in winter and early spring. But just weeks ago, the pools were gone and the ground parched. And when the pools returned in recent days, they were smaller than they used to be. What does that mean for the future of this uncommon ecosystem?