|By Michael E. Abrams
A private donor provided the money, and now the dream has come
The destiny of one of the most awe-inspiring botanical landscapes in
the flowering South is now in the books.
Dan Miller, who helped realize the dream, says there are 30-50
million estimated trout lilies, a rare flower, on the property.
A local plantation owner stepped forward to fund the balance of
funds needed to permit Grady County to purchase the Wolf Creek Trout
Lily tract, according Miller, the project coordinator.
The purchase closed in 2009.
"The Native Plant Societies of Florida and Georgia wish to thank the
many supporters of this preservation effort for their help and
financial assistance," said Miller.
Any funds received in excess of the amount needed for purchase will be
used for stewardship purposes, he said.
Two years ago, $48,000 stood between dream and realization
of the prize,
according to backers of the plan who were working on saving 140
rural South Georgia as a nature preserve for future generations.
It's home of the
greatest expanse of trout lilies known to exist anywhere, say experts.
The fertile land spills over with orchids, trilliums, violets and
beautiful oak, pine, beech, magnolia and hickory.
The effort, spearheaded by Miller, a prominent native plant nurseryman
resulted in a $342,750 grant from the Georgia Land Conservation
That would have been half the price asked. A lower total price
from the landowner, along with $51,500 in private donations,
brought the deadline within reach.
The success is the
result of a collaborative effort of the
Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, the Georgia Botanical
Society and the Georgia Native Plant Society.
250 N. Broad St.
Directions to Wolf
Take US 319 north from Tallahassee. Turn left on to GA 93 at Beachton
and proceed to Cairo, Ga. Turn left at intersection of GA 93 and US 84
about 5.7 miles and turn left onto Wolf Creek Road (just past the
bridge). Entrance gate and parking area is about 200 yares on the left.
There are no bathroom facilities.
land is owned by
the Grady County Commission, which is also
behind efforts to preserve this fragile habitat. As proposed, the
land would be managed as a passive nature
preserve in collaboration with The Red Hills Land Conservancy and the
nearby Bird Song Nature Center.
The rare trout lilies
thrive in moist, cool, rich soil under very
conditions. They were first noted by
botanist Angus Gholson of Chattahoochee, Miller recently told a
group from the Plant Society.
The trout lily is an endangered species in Florida, and rarely seen in
South Georgia. It is a harbinger of springtime.
Among plants present
are the Trillium maculatum, bloodroot, the crane fly and green fly
orchids, and the Southern tway blade orchid.
Photo by author
Trout lily - Erythronium
Unusual pink-edged trout lily leaf
seen at Wolf Creek in 2011