Let’s all take a moment to slowwwww down. Some of the best places to do that in Mecklenburg County are free. Today, we’re going to focus on our Park and Recreation nature preserves. The County manages more than 7,600 acres of nature preserves, protecting our natural resources. If you’ve never been to one, you’re missing out, but we’re going to give you a little preview.Continue Reading
Category: Animals and Wildlife
Get it? Latta, a lotta?
The real story is not about my bad pun but how many fun activities there are available at Latta Nature Preserve in Huntersville. It’s actually one of my favorite nature preserves in the County. Warning: Siri or Google Maps may try to trick you. When you get there, you want to go through the big gate, not the private drive.Continue Reading
Wildlife. We all play a role in its preservation and protection. And sometimes that means protecting things we may not be really crazy about. Can you think of an animal or insect you’d rather not come across on one of our trails? For me, there are a few. But, there’s one answer we hear a lot: SNAKES!
Snakes, birds, bugs, and plants are just some of the wildlife you’ll come across in one of our nature preserves. Sometimes, that even means you’ll see them on the trails. And it’s all by design! Unlike parks, which focus primarily on recreation, nature preserves help promote natural areas within city limits. This is great for us humans. It means we don’t have to travel outside of our city and towns to have access to nature. But, it also helps to protect our wildlife and the natural biodiversity in the area. And that’s important for a rich, functional ecosystem.
So how do we respect snakes AND stay safe on the trails?Continue Reading
Photos by John Mackay
In spring 2019, with just about a week to go before the start of construction of the highly anticipated extension of McAlpine Creek Greenway (Sardis Road to Providence Road), Mecklenburg County staff and a contractor gathered on site for what should have been a final pre-construction walkthrough.
With all the boxes on their to-do list nearly checked off, there was nothing that could have delayed the start of construction – except for some amazing birds.
How could birds lead to the delay of greenway construction?
Well, to fully understand why, we need to go back even further, to the winter of 2018.Continue Reading
You probably know that there are a few law enforcement agencies in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area – there’s the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, local town police departments, and of course, the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office (that’s our partner).
When you think of these agencies and those who work to keep our community safe, chances are you think of the people who respond to your calls for service and patrol your neighborhoods. But, it’s not just humans who wear a badge – dogs do too!Continue Reading
Written with assistance from Kristen Haas, Environmental Educator at Park and Recreation
If the word “snake” is enough to make you shudder, you’re not alone. Snakes are feared by many and no matter how often we try to convince you that they’re not that bad, chances are you’ll still want to keep your distance. But that’s not such a bad thing – respecting wildlife often means keeping it at arm’s length (or further, depending on the creature). It also means being educated about the types of wildlife you are likely to encounter whether you’re out and about or just working in the yard.Continue Reading
“Remember… Only YOU can prevent forest fires!”
The sound of Smokey Bear’s voice declaring this memorable message of fire prevention still conjures a sense of responsibility in me. Can you hear it? Visualize his furry finger pointing right at YOU? The wildfire prevention campaign began in 1944 and is the longest-running public service advertising campaign in U.S. history (and is based on a real-life bear)!
Thanks to Smokey, we all know the devastation that fire can bring to any natural area. But, did you know that prescribed fire is an important part of maintaining diverse and healthy ecosystems? Believe it or not, they’re a tool we use right here in Mecklenburg County and I got to tag along for one at Latta Plantation Nature Preserve.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word snake? Scary? Slimy? Spooky? Sure, snakes don’t always look as friendly as other wildlife, and certainly there are some species that you don’t want to get close to, but the truth is, snakes really aren’t all that bad once you get to know them!
If you’ve seen more snakes than usual lately, it’s because they are most active during the spring and summer. We know snake sightings can cause some fear and concern though, so we spoke with Park and Rec’s Kristen Haas to learn more about the snakes that call Mecklenburg County home. Today, we explain what you need to know.
Pet owner or not, seeing a stray animal can tug at the heart strings. We wouldn’t be surprised to hear if most of you reading this have tried to help a stray animal before or are trying to right now! (Did you know that Animal Care & Control received 33,781 calls for service in 2017?) But since it’s important to make sure that both you and the animal stay safe in your attempts, we talked with our friends over at CMPD Animal Care & Control to find out what you should do if you come across a stray. Here’s what we learned.