Prairie habitat is a part of the natural history of the southeastern US. Most of it has disappeared due to agriculture and development over the last 300+ years, but small remnants exist. HARP scientists have participated in many restoration projects and are conducting studies of prairie habitats, including monitoring of existing Endangered, Threatened and Rare plants occurring therein. Ongoing studies include projects at Suther Praire, Rock Hill Black Jack Preserve, and Adam Hunter Prairie at Redlair Farm and Research Station.

Project Examples

Adam Hunter Prairie - Gaston County NC
In 2002 HARP Biologist Lisa Gaffney was co-leading a nature hike with Haywood Rankin (the owner of Redlair Farm), and Charlie Williams (Andre Michaux historian), during an event sponsored by Catawba Lands Conservancy (CLC). While on the hike, she discovered a population of Federally Endangered Schweinitz's Sunflower. The population was concentrated in a small section of a ridge top trail in an area of the farm that is now known as Adam Hunter Prairie. The discovery of this population has resulted in a prairie restoration project supported by CLC, HARP and the USFWS.
This site is important for several reasons, primarily because it will soon meet the qualifications as a Recovery Site for the endangered sunflowers. Redlair Farm is a keystone property under permanent conservation protection through CLC. Lisa Gaffney and JC Weaver monitor the site periodically throughout the year, and perform a stem count of the sunflowers annually. Management includes annual bushogging and controlled burning on a 5 year cycle. Most recent burn was in 2009.


Do your part to preserve and protect the environment...
Remember to reduce your consumption, reuse items when possible, recycle all you can, and call us to restore your streams and wetlands!

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