Excursion: Back to the Future: Suther Prairie Nature Preserve, Cabarrus County
with Dennis Testerman, Conservationist, Preserve Steward at Suther Prairie; Jim Matthews, Ph.D., Retired, Department of Biology, UNC-Charlotte; Mike Baranski, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Biology, Herbarium Curator, Catawba College
The registration period has closed for this event.
Date: Sunday, May 9, 2021
Time: 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Fee: $45.00 ($41 members of either NCBG or FoPC)
After being cared for by generations of the Suther family going back to the 1700s, this relatively undisturbed remnant Piedmont wet prairie on the floodplain of Dutch Buffalo Creek became a “must see” destination over the last two decades for scientists, conservationists, researchers, and reporters/writers from across the country after being included in the natural heritage inventory of Cabarrus County. Hundreds of species have been catalogued on this 9-acre preserve, and the ecotypes of dozens of species are available commercially for conservation projects, including Suther Indiangrass and Suther big (and little) bluestem. The iconic photograph that shows up in any internet search for this site was taken when the “meadow” (as the Suther family referred to this site) was a sea of color with Atamasco lilies and Indian paintbrush in full bloom. New species continue to be identified, including Carex pellita, a new state record discovered in 2019!
Transportation to the Suther Prairie Preserve is not included. Meeting location and directions provided with registration confirmation.
What to bring:
Insect repellant, sunscreen, snacks and water are suggested, in addition to a sense of wonder!
What to wear:
Access to site involves walking across a rocky creek ford, so appropriate footwear and walking stick are recommended. Suther Prairie is a spring-fed wet prairie that partially lies in a floodplain. Raingear suggested.
Lilium candense (Canada lily) Oenothera perennis (Small sundrops)
Photo courtesy of John Suther
We're expanding our partnership with the Friends of Plant Conservation to offer several excursions and Lunchbox Talks that highlight some of our state's rarest plants and natural areas. Attend the March 25 Virtual Lunchbox Talk: Back to the Future: Suther Prairie Nature Preserve by registering here.
Want to spend the whole weekend in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area? Consider attending the Bigleaf Magnolia at Redlair Preserve excursion (click here for details) on Saturday, May 8.
This event is a partnership between NCBG and Friends of Plant Conservation.