Natural Communities and Rare Plants of the Uwharrie National Forest
October 2, 2014
Montgomery County, NC
The North Carolina Natural Heritage Program (NHP) and the North Carolina Association of Environmental Professionals (NCAEP) will hold 2 single-day Rare Plant and Natural Community Identification workshops. Identical single-day sessions will be held October 2 and 3, 2014. The field trip/workshop will be led by Michael Schafale, Laura Robinson, and Suzanne Mason, and will highlight some of the rare plants and natural communities in the Uwharrie National Forest area of the NC Piedmont. This field trip is designed for environmental professionals, botanists, and students who are responsible for conducting environmental surveys.
October 2, 2014 Field Trip:
This single-day trip will include visits to observe populations of Schweinitz’s Sunflower (Helianthus schweinitzii) in and around the Uwharrie National Forest in Montgomery County. We will focus on how to identify this federally endangered species and compare it to other plants with similar flowers that bloom at the same time. We will also visit a remnant Piedmont Longleaf Pine Forest and observe several state listed species including Smooth Sunflower (H. laevigatus ), Georgia Aster (Symphyotrichum georgianum), Glade Wild Quinine (Parthenium auriculatum), and Large Witch-alder (Fothergilla major). We will visit a variety of natural communities of the Uwharrie Mountains area, including Hillside Seepage Bog, Upland Pool, and Piedmont Monadnock Forest.
The natural community portion of the workshop will be based on the Guide to the Natural Communities of North Carolina, Fourth Approximation (2012). This document in electronic form is available as a free download at the NHP website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/nhp/searchable-publications. You may also download a copy of Classification of the Natural Communities of North Carolina, Third Approximation (1990) by Schafale and Weakley, which has more descriptive text than the current Fourth Approximation.
Registration: In order to make the most of this learning experience and for the safety of all participants and the habitats we visit, we must limit the number of participants to 22 registrants each day and require a minimum of 10 participants. If there are fewer than the minimum number of participants on either day, that day’s class may be canceled up to 2 weeks prior to the field trip. Registration will be open to non-members on August 22, 2014. Registrants will receive a registration confirmation and additional trip details by email.
Transportation: Due to limited parking at the rare plant sites, carpooling with other workshop participants or riding in a van is encouraged. A meeting location in the vicinity of the workshop has been chosen (see below) to facilitate carpooling. The workshop fee includes transportation by van from the meeting location. For those interested, a meeting location in Raleigh has also been chosen to transport participants to the field meeting location. If less than 10 people sign up to ride in a van, we may cancel the van registration and request that participants carpool to the meeting location. Details about departure times and meeting locations will be emailed to participants prior to the workshop. We will make break stops at service stations along the way.
Meeting Location: Everyone will meet at the picnic area at the entrance to Badin Recreation area at 10: 30 a.m. This is located between Eldorado and Uwharrie, west of NC 109. To reach the area from NC 109, turn west onto SR 1153 north of the Uwharrie River. People who wish to carpool should see “Transportation” notes (above).
A meeting location in Raleigh will be located at 801 Jones Franklin Road (same as in the past). We will leave from the Raleigh meeting location at 8:00 a.m.
Equipment: Please bring a lunch, as we will eat lunch while in the field. Please wear appropriate field clothes and shoes and bring insect repellent, sunscreen, and plenty of water. Bring a camera if you are interested in photographing the plants in flower. Participants will not be allowed to collect specimens. The field trips are planned rain or shine, so please plan and prepare accordingly. In the rare event of emergency cancellation or last minute updates, registrants will be contacted via email. Coolers will be provided for drinks. Afternoon snacks will also be provided.