The LandTrust for Central North Carolina has transferred a unique five-acre property to Morrow Mountain State Park for the perpetual protection of a unique and nationally significant hillside seepage bog. This globally rare habitat is home to a rare plant and a variety of wildlife.
“The LandTrust is thrilled to transfer this small but important property to Morrow Mountain State Park,” said Executive Director Travis Morehead. “The unique natural area, wildlife habitat, and scenic views from atop this property are special features that merit permanent protection.”
Wildlife such as deer and turkey are found in the mature hardwood forest on the property, and it is home to a rare plant, the crested coralroot. The large rocks and boulders are habitat for timber rattlesnake, a state endangered species. The property will also add to the recreation, research, and education opportunities at the state park.
“We first began working to save this special piece of property more than eight years ago,” said Crystal Cockman land protection director. “It is very rewarding to see this naturally significant property finally become a part of Morrow Mountain State Park.”
“This five acres on Biles Mountain in northeast Stanly County is within a registered Significant Natural Heritage Area and is considered nationally significant due to its natural communities, rare plant and animal populations, and because its geologic features are among the highest quality in the nation,” said Park Superintendent Jeff Davidson. “Morrow Mountain State Park is fortunate to have such great support from The LandTrust for Central NC, the Friends of Morrow Mountain, and many others in the local community who stepped up and got involved to help purchase and transfer this land to the park to ensure it is now permanently protected.”
In addition to the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, The Cannon Foundation and the Stanly County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau contributed financially to the project.
The Friends of Morrow Mountain State Park were supportive of this transfer as well. “It is very important to protect and expand the boundaries of Morrow Mountain State Park so that the long range viewshed from atop Morrow Mountain remains natural and scenic,” says John Young of Friends of Morrow Mountain State Park.
“This property transfer echoes the same community support that established Morrow Mountain as North Carolina’s third state park in 1935 following an initial 1,800 acres of land donations made by local citizens, land protection groups, and community supporters,” Davidson said. “This new property will bring the park to 4,747 acres, with the majority of the land being donated throughout the park’s 81 year history.”