Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Environmental Educators of NC: Call for Nominations

This is your last chance to nominate someone or someplace for a 2013 EENC Annual Award.

Award categories include:
Environmental Educator of the Year: for an individual who excels at helping others learn and lead

Exceptional Environmental Education Program: for a project, center, museum, unique program that helps people become more environmentally literate and knowledgable.

Outstanding Partnership: for a group, business, or organization that helps make environmental education possible.

Keith Bamberger
EENC Membership Co-Chair

Reposted from NC-EE Listserv

Sunday, July 14, 2013

New Hope Bottomlands Trail (Durham, NC)

New Hope Creek Bottomlands Trail (Durham NC)

Access: The New Hope Creek Bottomlands Trail is a 2.2 mile loop located off of SW Durham Drive in south Durham. The access point at Sherwood Githens Middle School is currently closed, so the best way to access the trail is to park by the dumpster in parking lot of the North Carolina Orthopaedic Center (3609 SW Durham Drive), walk down the sewer line easement, make a left at the first easement on the left, and reach the trail head on the right. 

Trail head of the New Hope Creek Bottomlands trail. Additional information about the site can be found at the New Hope Creek Corridor Advisory Committee website.
Map of bottomlands trail route.
What to expect: The New Hope Creek Bottomlands Trail loop winds through mixed hardwood forest. Expect to see stands of pawpaw, towering oaks, and other bottomland tree species. A part of the trail also runs adjacent to New Hope Creek. Please note that after heavy rains the trail does flood. The most recent rains have dislodged some of the new boardwalks. Be prepared for mosquitoes and muddy, wet trails.  Additional information about the site can be found at the New Hope Creek Corridor Advisory Committee website.

Sewer line easement near dumpster of North Carolina Orthopaedic Center (3609 SW Durham Dr). Use this entrance until the Sherwood Githens Middle School access point become available.

Common pawpaw (Asimina triloba) typically occupies low woods and floodplain habitats in NC. It is easily recognized by its rusty colored, paint brush-like buds and magnolia-like leaves. In spring, gorgeous maroon colored flowers -- pollinated by flies -- adorn these small trees. 

Enormous northern red oak (Quercus rubra). 

Two species of mulberry are common the North Carolina Piedmont. One species, white mulberry (Morus alba) is non-native. You can recognize the non-native mulberry by its relative smaller leaves that are glabrous (or smooth) above. This photo show the native red mulberry that has relatively larger leaves that are scabrous (or rough) above and pubescent (or fuzzy) below. 

A fallen tree provides wetland habitat in the bottomlands of New Hope Creek.

A southern leopord frog (Rana sphenocephalus).

New Hope Creek turbid from high sediment run-off.