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Plant Industry - Plant Protection Section -
Plant Conservation Program

Plant Conservation Events Schedule 2018

Come out for a visit to the Plant Conservation Preserves. We will see rare flowering plants, amazing views, and hopefuly get some work done along the way.

All preserve visits must follow the "Take Nothing but Photographs, Leave Nothing but Footprints" rule.

The Plant Conservation Preserves and their living and non-living natural resources are to remain intact. The only exception is with the explicit guidance of PCP Staff members to remove invasive and/or nuisance species.

Date/Time Event Additional Information

February 24
Time TBA

McIntosh/Tustall Bay
Hosts: TNC Staff
We will venture to Scotland County to plant wiregrass plugs at Tunstall Bay as part of the upland longleaf restoration of McIntosh Bay. Directions will be provided by TNC upon registration; bring a lunch. TNC will provide the equipment needed along with drinks and snacks. No experience necessary; expect moderately strenuous work (carrying metal dibble bar and bucket of seedlings, repeated bending over to plant seedlings). Tusntall Bay is one of the few remaining Carolina Bays that supports a large population of tiger salamanders and other rare amphibians, and the adjacent Big Cypress Meadow Bay is the only known location in NC for the federally endangered Canby's dropwort. If you are willing to help, please send a note to Gretchen Coll at

March 23
10:30 AM-3:00 PM

Ring the Bells!
Hosts: FOPC & NC PCP Staff

The blooming season for Oconee bells at Caraway Preserve in McDowell County will soon be upon us. We will assist the NCPCP staff with a count of plants in bloom so there is a base from which to judge the health of the population over time. As it is difficult to pin down the date of blooming, we will confirm with those registered as the season progresses.


May 11
10:00 AM





May 19


Big Flower, Bigger Leaf
Hosts: NC PCP Staff & Haywood Rankin





Harmon Knob
Host: Eric Hiegle


Meet on site for our annual trek to Redlair Preserve in Gaston County to see the Bigleaf magnolias in bloom. The trek will include a couple of hours pulling privet or another task that is on Haywood Rankin's To Do list. This is a popular event in a beautiful place. Sign up soon and bring a bag lunch.



A visit to this preserve is in the planning stages for May. Eric Hiegle with the Blue Ridge Conservancy is in charge of the planning and will handle registration. As soon as details are finalized, FOPC will send an email via MailChimp to the membership.

June 15

Tater Hill
Hosts: Matt Estep & NC PCP Staff


There is a growing population of Knapweed at Tater Hill that has been tackled a time or two by students at Appalachian State Univ. We will add our efforts to the task and spend a part of our time at Tater Hill ridding it of the noxious weed. If knapweed is not in bloom, Matt Estep will lead us to an area in need of some trash removal--another project started by Appalachian students. If energy remains, we will take a look at needs in other areas of the preserve.

July 27
Time TBA

Rain Date: August 3

Postponed Date TBA

International Bog Day
Hosts: NC PCP Staff

In celebration of this day, we will tackle microstegium at Bat Fork Bog. When we have completed what we can of that task, we will make note of the plants on the preserve and any frogs, turtles, salamanders, butterflies, dragonflies and birds that may be residing among the rare plant species. Bug spray and long sleeves/pants are recommended, as well as boots, rubber boots or waterproof hiking boots are recommended. Bring bug spray if so inclined, the PCP staff will also have some on hand. There are no facilities at this Presreve. We will bring snacks and a water cooler with ice water, please bring your refillable water bottles.  

August 10
9-11 AM

McIntosh Bay
Hosts: NC PCP Staff

Back to McIntosh Bay in Scotland County, this time to assist NCPCP staff with a search for Canby's dropwort, Oxypolis canbyi. It hasn't been seen in years but we are hopeful that the restoration efforts that have been underway by TNC and volunteers may result in its return. While we explore the Bay for its rare plant species, we will keep an eye out for plants and animals of interest.
September 11

8:30 AM - 12:00 Noon

Redlair PCP

Sharon Wilson (Catawba Land Conservancy) and Lesley Starke (NCPCP) have arranged a workday at Redlair--a great place to be for pulling Microstegium + Arthraxon. Volunteers will be doing careful hand-pulling of invasive grasses where they grow among endangered Schweinitz's sunflowers. Sharon will take the lead to register volunteers and she will send directions upon registration. You can reach Sharon HERE. She is waiting to hear from you!

Sept 21
Time TBA

Picture Creek Seed Collecting
Hosts: NC PCP Staff

Located in Granville County, the preserve has a few species from which seed need to be collected for augmentation efforts on the site. We can all go and see the site, learn about the plants protected there, the plant community that supports them, and assist NCPCP staff with seed collection. Easy walking, not too much bending. There are no facilities on site.

Oct 8-10
Time TBA




One-Two, Tie Your Boots--Three-Four, Sharpen Your Pencil
Hosts: NC PCP Staff



Monitoring of Helianthus Schweinitzii (Schweinitz's sunflowers) populations is conducted annually on several NCPCP Preserves and related areas. Volunteers will be instructed where and how to proceed, and assigned to a team, an area, and a day to work. Some sites can be completed in one-half day, others take a little longer. Any time you can give will be appreciated. Just tell us which day/days you will be available to help. The work is easy and the sites easy to reach. 

REGISTER EARLY AS SPACE IS LIMITED. Directions and other details will be emailed to registered participants about a week before the event. When registering, please also leave a telephone/cell number so we can reach you.

PLEASE NOTE: Dates may need to be adjusted depending on weather and bloom times. We will advise you as best we can.

AS A REMINDER: There are no facilities on site and participants should plan accordingly.


Contact Nancy Stewart to RSVP, (919) 707-3755 or You will receive directions and any additional information when you have registered with Nancy.

Due to the fragile nature of these sites, guided tours will be limited to 15 participants (unless otherwise noted)- RSVP is necessary.  There are no trails, no facilities, and no water.  Often, these are remote sites, so you will be asked to bring water and snacks with you. 

There is no fee for Friends of Plant Conservation members; members of the public will pay $15, which may be applied to membership. Plant and seed collecting is strictly forbidden on Plant Conservation Preserves. This is also true during guided tours.  

We ask that you leave your pets at home.

Guided Tours of NC Plant Conservation Program preserves are also avilable by request. If you would like to arrange a walk for a specific small group, contact Lesley Starke (919) 707-3758 or for more information.


NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division - Plant Protection Section
Division Director - Phillip L. Wilson
Mailing Address: 1060 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1060
Physical Address: 216 West Jones Street, Raleigh NC 27603
Phone: (919) 707-3753 | FAX: (919) 733-1041

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