|UNC allocates 107 acres to N.C. Botanical Gardenís Mason Farm Biological Reserve|
|Monday, June 04, 2012|
Chancellor Holden Thorp announced today (June 4) that 107.6 acres of environmentally sensitive land will be administered and managed by the North Carolina Botanical Garden as part of the Mason Farm Biological Reserve.
The land lies south of the botanical garden and adjoins the west side of the reserve. It is part of the Parker Property, a 126.5-acre tract conveyed to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill by William and Athena Parker in 1976.
The undeveloped land, which includes streams, steep hills and woods, will be added to the 367-acre reserve, an area of forests and former farm fields and pastures that is administered by the botanical garden as both a natural area and biological field station. Parker Road, off Mt. Carmel Church Road, will provide access to the property.
“The Parker Property is valuable to the community in so many ways,” Thorp said. “Under the botanical garden’s management, the land will be preserved in its undeveloped state, yet remain accessible to researchers, students and others with an interest in what it has to teach us.”
The remaining 18.9 acres of the Parker Property, in the northwest corner close to Parker Road, will remain undeveloped for the next 25 years and be maintained by the University’s grounds department. All of the Parker Property will be kept in a condition of conservation that allows the University the option to use it to offset impacts from other campus development.
The Mason Farm Biological Reserve protects natural areas, supports academic research and public education. The reserve is also home to 800 species of plants, 216 species of birds, 29 species of mammals, 28 species of fish, 28 species of reptiles, 23 species of amphibians and 67 species of butterflies. More different species of animals have been recorded at the reserve than in any other area of comparable size in the entire Piedmont.
Members of the public can get a special permit from the botanical garden for access to the reserve.
Map showing Parker Property: http://uncnews.unc.edu/images/stories/news/campus/2012/parker_property_for_gordon_merklin_reduced_file_size.pdf