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On May 9th, Three Rivers Land Trust, formally, The LandTrust for Central North Carolina, partnered with Salisbury Academy through the Land Trust’s Leopold Society Program to bring 75 children in grades 6-8 out to the Land Trust’s Point Property in Davie County to enhance wildlife habitat.

The students, led by Shea Overcash, a middle school science teacher at Salisbury Academy, and Land Trust staff met on the property from 10:15am to noon. The students helped plant sunflowers by scattering the seed over five acres of field that had previously been disked. Planting sunflowers benefits wildlife in the form of songbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators.

The Land Trust owns approximately 1,400 acres where the Yadkin and South Yadkin Rivers confluence, and the property is managed to house a diversity of landscapes. Portions of the property contain hardwood forest, some of the property is in pine plantation that is frequently burned to enhance wildlife habitat, and other areas of the land are in agriculture. “Providing a diverse matrix of habitats on one property allows a wide variety of wildlife to use the site,” states Conservation Lands Manager, Cody Fulk. Students took a walk over the property after the sunflower planting to see the various habitats present on the landscape.

The Land Trust’s Leopold Society is designed to enlighten youth participants from grades 6 to 12 on the natural world and conservation issues. Participants learn conservation techniques, outdoor skills, and hands-on natural resource stewardship and service. They engage in outdoor recreation and skill-building activities. Many of these activities are completed independently with the intent to bring families together in the outdoors. The long-term goal of the program is to instill a lifelong love of nature in youth participants that will translate into positive action as adults.

To learn more about how you can get your school involved in the Leopold Society, or how you can support Three Rivers Land Trust, contact Michael Nye Fulk at 704-647-0302 or michael@threeriverslandtrust.org