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Monday, February 10, 2014

Our World Tuesday: Prairie Ridge Ecostation in Raleigh NC

Saturday morning Bill and I paid our first visit to the Prairie Ridge Ecostation.
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The Ecostation is satellite facility of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science.
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Th Ecostation is located on 45 acres of Piedmont prairie and forest with a pond and streams.
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I found it interesting to read on one of the signs that as early as 1540 explorers reported seeing open savannas  in the Carolina Piedmont.
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I'll digress to mention that the photovoltaic solar panel above is used to generate energy which is sold to the local power company and offsets the facilities power demand at the Ecostation.
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Back to the open spaces, the sign said that they were likely created by fire and lightening strikes and grazing animals such as elk and bison may have helped to maintain the prairies. Another factor may have been fires started by Native Americans to clear land for planting and to make hunting easier.
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The Carolina Prairies were smaller than those found in the midwest and the sign said that may have been because the many rivers and streams created natural firebreaks.
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When the Native American population and grazing animals declined so did the Carolina prairies and only remnants of prairies are currently found in NC.
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The Ecostation Prairie was started in 2004 in a former cow pasture.
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I will definitely go back in the summer when the meadow is full of wildflowers but I like winter beauty too.
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They have educational programs for adults and children.
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They also have a neighborhood garden which I'd like to see in the growing season.
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 The classroom is a green building utilizing technology aimed towards making the building healthy for people and the environment.
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 They have a sign warning people not to take pictures of their neighbor which is a NC National Guard facility.
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I decided taking a picture of the helicopters flying over the Ecostation was probably not a problem.
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16 comments:

ladyfi said...

Oh, I love the landscape - it's so pretty!

Łucja-Maria said...

Fantastic photos and views from the Prairie Ridge Ecostation.
Greetings from far away Polish.
Lucia

Rajesh said...

Wonderful set of images.

Photo Cache said...

very interesting. north carolina prairie is something i've heard for the first time.

carol l mckenna said...

Intriquing place and great shots Carver for OWT ~

carol and artmusedog
www.acreativeharbor.com

Ileana said...

Interesting post ! Very nice pictures from the Prairie Ridge Ecostation.Have a nice week!

Laura said...

looks like you had a fine time visiting this place Carver.

eileeninmd said...

Carver, What a lovely visit! This place is a wonderful habitat for the wildlife. Wonderful set of photos! Have a happy week ahead!

lisa hermanson said...

What a nice quiet walk through the park - ecostation. I really like those wire bison - so original.!

Sylvia K said...

What a great place to visit, Carver!! Your captures are wonderful as always and the next best thing to being there!! Thanks for sharing! This is the first time I've heard of it, too!! Have a great week!

Sharp Little Pencil said...

WOW. Great selection of photos, Carver. We have a lot of prairie here in Wisconsin, but it's also being eaten up by suburban sprawl.

I am very impressed by the solar station. Why are we building a pipeline from Canada to the Gulf when Germany is 100% fossil free, using wind and solar and electric cars? Hmmmm. Thanks, Amy

DeniseinVA said...

Very interesting post, thanks Carver. The solar panel is impressive and I never knew there had been prairies in NC. Enjoyed all your photos very much.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

What beautiful images, and to read your commenting with the images makes it all the more that I was there!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Everything about this place is wonderful! They saved a bit of history and contributed so much to the environment. And the electricity trade-off thing, how perfect.

Love the pictures, look forward to seeing this place in every season!

Powell River Books said...

I love exploring places like this. So much to learn, and being outdoors is a plus. - Margy

Gillian Olson said...

Great place, love those red berries,

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