Duke Energy Foundation awards $25K to support Black Creek Bio-Blitz
The Pee Dee Land Trust received a $25,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation on Monday to support the Black Creek Bio-Blitz. The Black Creek Bio-Blitz is a year-long program designed to engage local school children and scout groups in an inventory of native plants and wildlife at nature preserves along Black Creek in Darlington County. “We want the kids to hone their skills as naturalists as part of a successful citizen science project,” said David Harper, Executive Director of the Pee Dee Land Trust.
“Healthy, diverse forests and waterways are our greatest natural assets. The more we can inspire our younger generations with a passion for conservation, the better off our communities will be in the future.” The Duke Energy Foundation actively works to strengthen the quality of life in the communities erved by Duke Energy.
The Foundation funds programs that support Duke Energy’s philanthropic strategies in the following investment priorities: education, workforce and economic development, environment and community impact. “The mission of the Pee Dee Land Trust is to preserve this significant natural area and provide increasing ways for children to get close to nature,” said Mindy Taylor, government and community relations manager for Duke Energy.
“This is right in line with our focus on improving environmental education opportunities in the communities where we work and live.” Students participating in the Bio-Blitz will use their natural abilities to identify the trees, shrubs, plants, mushrooms, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects and fish that occupy the rich oak-pine forest and high quality streams at Pee Dee Land Trust’s newest nature preserve.
The Woods and Louise Macfarlan Dargan Preserve is a maturing 217-acre tract of rich woodland located at the confluence of Swift Creek and Black Creek, east of Darlington. This wooded sanctuary was permanently preserved by Mrs. Dargan and managed for more than 30 years by the Black Creek Land Trust, which recently consolidated with the Pee Dee Land Trust. Students will continue Mrs. Dargan’s conservation ethic by helping to protect unique places in their community that will remain “forever wild.”
The project benefits from an Advisory Committee with guidance from biology professor Dr. Jeff Steinmetz of Francis Marion University, master naturalist Terasa Lott with Clemson Extension, and Latta-based landscape architect Amanda Morrell with Stantec.