Regional Plant Conservation at the Zoo
Donate to the Zoo's regional plant conservation projects.
Zoo Horticulture promotes local plant conservation through a variety of research, education and recreational programs that are in place at the Zoo and in the surrounding area.
On site, the Zoo maintains a collection of rare and endangered plant species that are displayed to educate visitors and enhance the animal exhibits.
In non-exhibit areas and off-site, the Zoo maintains and protects plants by a) conducting botanical surveys to monitor the health of wild populations; b) by acquiring properties that support rare plant species and rare plant communities; and c) by managing and restoring wild populations of rare plant species and communities, such as the plant community associated with the Upland Pool pictured to the left.
Off-site Plant Protection Projects
The Zoo maintains protected wild areas, off-site, that are populated by stands of the Federally Endangered Schweinitz's Sunflower and Piedmont Indigobush.
The Zoo also maintains on- and off-site areas that support plant communities that are rare in North Carolina. The Piedmont Longleaf Pine Forest pictured to the left is an example of a rare plant community that benefits from Zoo oversight.
Other plant communities that receive protection from the Zoo include: a) Upland Pools, b) Basic Oak-Hickory Forest and c) Monadnock Forest. The protection afforded the plants at these sites also provides a layer of protection to the wildlife inhabiting these places.
When possible, the Zoo opens these protected natural areas to the public, encouraging visitors to use the sites for low impact recreational activities. For example, the Zoo recently opened a new hiking trail through the Monadnock Forest that sits atop Purgatory Mountain, one of the monadnocks that rises up on the Zoo site.
The Zoo maintains a similar hiking trail on Ridges Mountain, pictured to the left. This trail wanders through a well-preserved Basic Oak-Hickory Forest. The site is well-known locally for its large and interesting boulders and rock formations.
Ridges Mountain is located about 10 miles from the Zoo.
The Zoo's conservation efforts in Piedmont North Carolina remind visitors that conservation is necessary locally as well as globally.