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November 08
Wake County Receives Grant Funding for Nature Preserves

Two of Wake County's nature preserves will offer more amenities for local residents to enjoy in the new year, thanks to more than $500,000 in new grant funding from the state and federal governments.

"We're excited to receive these grants, because they'll allow us to launch the next phase of development at Robertson Millpond Preserve and Turnipseed Nature Preserve," said Chris Snow, director of Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space. "The new features we'll add will encourage more residents to explore and enjoy the outdoors in Wake County, while enabling us to protect our natural resources."

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources awarded a $251,097 Parks and Recreation Trust Fund Grant to Wake County to fund the second phase of development for Robertson Millpond Preserve. At its Nov. 7 meeting, the Wake County Board of Commissioners approved an additional $284,935 in matching funds for the project.

Robertson Millpond Preserve is an 85-acre nature preserve purchased by the county in 2013. The millpond is a bald cypress blackwater swamp near Buffalo Creek in eastern Wake County and is open to the public for canoeing, kayaking, fishing and other recreational activities. The second phase of its development will include amenities for non-paddling visitors, such as walkways and educational signage.

At the Nov. 7 meeting, the Board of Commissioners also accepted a $250,000 grant from the National Park Service's Land and Water Conservation Fund for Turnipseed Nature Preserve's second phase of development. The board approved the appropriation of $474,080 in matching funds for the project.

Turnipseed Nature Preserve is a 265-acre open space tract along Mark's Creek, near Wendell and Knightdale. Expected to open to the public in the summer of 2017, it is home to exceptional natural features, such as Michaux's Sumac, a federally endangered plant species. The first phase of the preserve's development is underway, and includes a pedestrian bridge and trails. The second phase will include expanded trails and picnic areas.

The county's Open Space Program acquires and manages land that has not been converted to residential, suburban or commercial development, in the public interest of protecting water quality, public health, scenic landscapes, natural resources and historic properties. The county has acquired or partnered to protect approximately 6,300 acres of open space.


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