Tales from the Field: Hot N’ Cold

July 2, 2015

A winter snow at Horton Grove Nature Preserve by Kyle Obermiller

As I enter my second year here at TLC, I can officially say I’ve worked in all conditions possible that we’ll experience here in the Piedmont of North Carolina. Over the winter I skated across an icy parking lot and down the trails at our Horton Grove Nature Preserve to work on bridges on the newer sections of trails. I even wandered down through our White Pines Nature Preserve installing new trail blazes along the Rocky River, which at the time had a sheet of ice stretching from one side all the way to the other. There may have been times where I was bundled up as much as Randy from A Christmas Story, but I was warm. There were even a few moments I recall where I looked forward to the heat of the summer. Well, the warmth of the summer is sure upon us now and I’d like to assure you that we’re still chugging along here at TLC making the places you love better and better.

New sign
New signage at Johnston Mill Nature Preserve. Photo by Benjamin Chapman 2015

As I sit in the comforts of AC h ere in our Durham office, I want to give y’all a stewardship update. We’re moving right along with many projects you’ll notice over the next month or so. Our Swift Creek Bluffs Nature Preserve and White Pines will all be receiving new signage similar to that that was recently installed at Johnston Mill. Currently, in our workshop at Irvin Preserve, there are over 30 signs waiting for their final coats of stain before installation can occur. Out at Horton Grove, we have been working hard on invasive control in our savannah restoration and grassland area. You also might notice new plantings of milkweed and other wild plants spread out through both areas as well. We’d like nothing more than to create a wonderful sanctuary for Monarch butterflies at Horton Grove! Our White Pines trail work has reached a major milestone, with the completion of 2,015 feet of trail built by our wonderful volunteers. Thank you volunteers! The project will continue in the late summer to continue to re-route the Gilbert Yager Trail with sustainability in mind.

The milkweed at Horton Grove also attracts many bees. Photo by Diana Hackenburg 2015

Even if you aren’t able to volunteer, there is still a simple way that anyone can help. It may have been well into the 90’s when I was installing the new signage at Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, but it was all worth it because of the thanks and good words I received. I’m clearly not in this business for comfort; I took this job to help create a better place to for folks to live. I’m proud of the work we do here at TLC and that pride is what keeps all of us going through all the extremes of weather. So, next time you’re out and about on any trail or in any park, and see a volunteer or staff person working, stop and say thanks. Behind the waterfall of sweat will be a person who truly appreciates recognition of their labor.

This is The Dirt, a blog from TLC to conservationists everywhere. If you have any questions/comments/concerns, as always feel free to email me at [email protected]. I love to hear from our fans and supporters!

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