Tanglewood County Park

Working with Forsyth Audubon, Tanglewood County Park has developed areas of native warm season grasses in a meadow between the wetlands in the southwest portion of the park. Following removal of nonnative vegetation, plantings of native grasses began in May 2012 and were completed the following year. Controlled burns are conducted periodically by the U. S. Forest Service.

The project stemmed from discussions between Forsyth Audubon members and park managers, complemented by recommendations provided by an independent consultant from the N. C. Wildlife Resources Commission. The park paid the expenses for the project. The conversion has proved a boon to species such as American Goldfinch, Indigo Bunting, Common Yellowthroat and wintering sparrows. Numerous Purple Martins now use a house in the meadow.

The project included repair and installation of several Wood Duck boxes that had been in the wetlands along the BMX road wherein all but one were relocated to the oxbow lake and in the moist area behind the BMX track. Ducks have been using some of the boxes, which are maintained by park staff. Additionally, Prothonotary Warbler boxes were placed in moist woodland areas. These beautiful warblers have become difficult to find in Forsyth County but at least a couple of pair do nest in the park.

Yadkin River Nature Trail. As an outgrowth of the native grasses project, Forsyth Audubon developed the Yadkin River Nature Trail at the request of Forsyth County Parks and Recreation Department. The trail begins near Skilpot Lake at the start of the road to the BMX track, now named Audubon Trail. Visitors can follow Audubon Trail, Wood Duck Way, Woodpecker Lane and other “streets,” as the trail loops around the southwest corner of the park past bottomland woods, past the marsh wetland, through the native-grass meadow, out to an oxbow lake and back along the Yadkin River. Twelve signs along the way provide information to visitors about the birds, butterflies, frogs and other wildlife that inhabit the area. Using a website address or QR code on the initial sign, trail users can access a Yadkin River Nature Trail webpage with links to additional information about the wildlife and their habitats. The trail officially opened on June 10, 2015, and is used and appreciated by many.

A local non-profit organization helped locate funding for the project and grant money was provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Duke Energy.

Plans are now under development for placement of a wheelchair-accessible dock in the wetlands area with funding by Forsyth County.

Laura Fogo (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) with Forsyth Audubon members Ron Morris, Carol Gearhart, Diane Villa