Civitan Park

The City of Winston-Salem has created a wetland area along Salem Creek and the adjacent Salem Creek Greenway at Civitan Park, directly behind the Anderson Center of Winston-Salem State University. From Business I-40, take Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. south about 0.6 miles to Reynolds Park Road. Turn right and park behind the Anderson Center when school is not is session. When school is in session, this is a permit area and you should go 0.1 mile further on MLK and take the first right after the creek to another, unpaved parking area.

The Anderson Center parking lot offers a good view of the stream and part of the wetland below, and a bridge connects the lot with the Greenway. Bird along the greenway, and at either end of the main part of the marsh you can loop around to the other side. There are foot bridges at both ends of the southern edge. This side is easily walked most of the year, but it may be difficult to find any path through summer vegetation. Rudbeckia, Coreopsis and other wildflowers are glorious in late June.

Barn Swallow
Photo by Jean Chamberlain

The wetland is active year-round. Winter is good for up to six species of sparrows, woodpeckers, Snipe, Great Blue Heron, a few ducks and possible Coot or Pied-billed Grebe. Spring brings a variety of warblers, Red-winged and Rusty Blackbird, swallows, Green Heron, Eastern Kingbird and other migrants. Since 2008, Warbling Vireo have been nesting here and singing male Willow Flycatcher since that same year suggest nesting of that species as well. Barn Swallow and Eastern Phoebe nest at the Vargrave Street bridge at the west end, and Red-tailed, Cooper’s, Red-shouldered and other raptors may be present. This also is the most reliable area location to find Yellow Warblers. In 2012, Clff Swallows also have been found nesting here under Martin Luther King Dr. bridge.

Palm warblers seem most common in the fall. The greenway runs east to Salem Lake, passing through moist woods and creekside habitat attractive to a variety of birds. Salem Lake, Civitan Park and the connecting greenway have been designated as a stop on the N.C. Birding Trail. Westbound, the greenway connects this area with Old Salem and Washington Park.