Wednesday May 20 – In a celebration to officially honor the Annie Louise Wilkerson, MD Nature Preserve Park a lunch and gathering was held on-site. In this beautiful place where members of her extended family have often gathered the City humbly gave thanks for this wonderful gift. Opening remarks and a warm welcome were given by Senior Parks Planner Steven Bentley, followed by an appreciation on behalf of the City of Raleigh from Mayor Meeker. Councillor McFarlane was also there to offer appreciation for this wonderful addition to District A. Dr. Annie’s sister offered a moving tribute to her memory and to the specialness of her property. It is a special piece of land which in 100 years will look just as it does today!
Thursday May 21 – The Wake Nature Preserve Partnership organized a Capacity Building Workshop on Nature Preserve Management with a day trip to Charlotte to learn how their system is run. Councillor McFarlane and Councillor Stephenson attended the workshop along with several other members of the Parks Department. They toured Reedy Creek Park & Nature Preserve, Ribbon Walk Nature Preserve, Flat Branch Park and Clarke’s Creek Nature Preserve. Some sites are focused on preservation with only passive recreation, while others maintain a mix of active and passive recreation facilities. Charlotte and Mecklenburg County do a good job of working together, and have chosen their greenspace wisely by identifying targetted areas with unique wildlife and flora. When Wake County designates an area under preserve they are only agreeing to 20 years of protection, which is not the model Charlotte-Mecklenburg uses of protecting land indefinitely. Thanks to Jennifer Roberts, Chair of the Mecklenburg County Comissioners, for taking the time to meet with our group.