In our last newsletter we announced that we were seeking funds to preserve a significant natural heritage area in Stanly County known as Plank Road Slate Knolls. This 13 acre property possesses nearly 1000 feet of frontage on the Rocky River. Two rare natural communities, Basic Oak-Hickory Forest and Basic Piedmont Bluff Glade; and three rare plants, Missouri rockcress, piedmont aster, and Walter’s violet; as well as one watch list species, bracted skullcap are found here.
Thanks to funding from a private donor in response to our previous newsletter, Louis Eubanks, and grant funding from the N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund, The Land Trust was able to purchase this property in December 2014!
The Rocky River as a corridor has long been a focus of The LandTrust, and less than half a mile upstream of this site is a 330 acre conservation easement we hold on the McSwain Farm. The Carolina Thread Trail is making the Rocky River a focus for their efforts as well, and a new access has been purchased between these two conservation lands on Plank Road. The formal access here with parking and canoe launch is expected to be open in 2015. Thanks to all those who made protection of this site possible to preserve this scenic stretch of river and the natural areas found here!