Temple Flat Rock
Temple Flat Rock – Stewardship and Management Summary
Location: Temple Rock lies at the end of a farm lane about four miles northeast of Knightdale
Property Description: Temple Flat Rock is named for the mostly undisturbed granitic outcrop located in the northwestern part of the property. The outcrop flora is unique and contains several endemic species found only on granitic outcrops. TFR flatrocks are some of the best examples in the piedmont. The granite outcrops are surrounded by about 5 acres of mature oak-hickory forest as well as some cutover forests on adjacent properties.
In addition to this forested area, the property also has about 13 acres of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) and a 17acres old agricultural field that have been cultivated since the early 1900s. TLC has been working for several years to convert this field to a native piedmont prairie.
Bobwhite quail and other animals will benefit from habitat restoration at Temple Flat Rock.
Conservation Values: The flatrocks are an almost completely undisturbed exposure of the Rolesville Granite Batholith, and are located near the fall-line which separates the Piedmont and Coastal Plain geomorphic regions. The outcrop is about 5250 square meters and slopes gently to the west. Various successional stages are represented on the outcrop from primary succession, represented by mosses and lichens at the edge of bare rock, through various herbaceous stages, to a a dry oak-hickory climax community. The rock is in pristine condition, with essentially no trash. A small amount of logging has taken place over the years prior to TLC’s ownership, and Hurricane Fran in 1996 blew down additional trees. However, this damage has had little or no impact to the flatrock flora. This is one of the most aesthetically pleasing flatrocks in the Piedmont. The site is a Registered Natural Heritage Site and home to many unique endemic outcrop species.
Piedmont Prairies have become extremely rare in this region and many native plants and wildlife species have suffered. The open habitat of this 17 acre piedmont prairie establishment will support a variety of warm season native grasses, forbs and associated species increasing the areas biodiversity. Many endemic native animals and migratory bird species utilize these critical habitats. It will also demonstrate ecological conditions as they were prior to the arrival of European settlers. Over 149 species of butterflies have been documented on the preserve as well as 44 species of lichen.
Public Benefit Values:
Safeguarding Clean Water - Water Quality Protection of Streams and Waterways – The property provides upland buffer and filtration for Hodges Creek.
Protecting Wildlife Habitat - The granitic outcrops and prairie protect unique habitat systems of the piedmont and their associated species
Wildlife Habitat Improvement and Protection including:
- Granitic Flatrocks
- Migratory and nesting birds
- Open prairie with warm season grasses
- Unfragmented forest habitat
Connecting People with Nature - The outcrops and prairies provide opportunities for scientific education and outreach. The increase in migratory bird activity will provide birders opportunities to see unique and uncommon species. The ecological restoration of the prairie site offers hands-on volunteering experiences for area schools and universities.
Temple Flat Rock Property Management Objectives:
- To preserve the natural, educational, recreational, and aesthetic value of the property which contains a granitic flatrock and a unique and unusual flora and excellent examples of primary succession on bare rock
- To preserve the habitat and rare species located on the flatrocks
- To restore the old fields to piedmont prairies
Summary of Improvements: 25ft wide access corridor leading from Watkins Rd; gate along road and at the entrance to the main property; several trails lead to the flatrocks, around the prairie and woods
Summary of Restrictions: To be open to the public for scientific and educational purposes
Potential Threats to Conservation Values or areas of Concern:
- Dumping of trash and debirs
- Off Road vehicle use
- Invasive and non-native plant species.
Relevant Inventories and Plans:
Baseline Documentation Report (1995) Rahlff F. Ingle
Forest Stewardship Plan (2009)
Wake County Natural Heritage Inventory (2003) Harry LeGrand, Jr. and Christine Wiecek
Butterfly Inventory (2002) Shay Garriock
Soil Survey (2000) Rich Hayes and Mathew Arnsberger
Trefoil Study, Lotus unifoliatus, (2007) Robert N. Masson and Jon M. Stucky
"All I want is to sit on my porch and see tomorrow what I see today...and I want my grandchildren to see it too."