March News from Friends of the Lower Haw!
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Spicebush Spring Walk 
with naturalist Andy Upshaw
April 2nd, 2pm 
More info below!
About Us

News from Friends of Lower Haw River State Natural Area!

March Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Come celebrate the Haw in Spring with us! 

At 2PM on April 2nd noted naturalist Andy Upshaw will guide us on a natural history walk along the Haw featuring flowering spicebush.  We'll also experience pawpaws, Spring ephemerals, and whatever surprises the ecosystem has for us that afternoon. This is a great opportunity to re-connect with the natural world as it reawakens from Winter. We are limiting attendance on the Spicebush walk to make it a great experience for all the walkers. The walk will be about 2 miles, from 2PM to 4PM.

This Spring membership event is free! Please make a reservation by responding to with how many will be in your party.  Meeting location for the hike will be provided when RSVP is confirmed. We hope to see your smiling face again as we celebrate our beautiful Haw River in Spring! Happy Spring along the Haw!

photo credit: R. A. Nonenmacher


Visit Our Friends Chapter Exhibit at Ag Center Grand Opening March 25th

Be sure to visit the Friends of Lower Haw River SNA exhibit booth at the Chatham County Agriculture & Conference Center on Saturday, March 25th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.  The Chatham County Agriculture & Conference Center is located at 1192 US 64 W Business, just one mile west of the traffic circle in downtown Pittsboro.  Visitors can enjoy educational exhibits (indoors and outdoors), entertainmentfood, and tours of the new Agriculture & Conference Center. The Grand Opening Celebration is being hosted by the Chatham County Center of NC State Extension, Chatham County Soil & Water Conservation District, USDA Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the North Carolina Forest Service.  The event is sponsored by the Chatham County Farm Bureau and is free and open to the general public.

Thank you to the NCDOT! 

A big “thank you” to Justin Bullock, NCDOT Maintenance Engineer, for addressing erosion problems at the southeast gravel parking area owned by NCDOT next to the US 64 bridge at the Haw River.  The shoulder drop-off and parking area erosion were becoming increasingly deep, and the drop-off was unsafe for vehicles exiting the parking area.  These problems were reported to NCDOT by our Friends chapter, and NCDOT has recently made improvements by grading and adding more gravel.  This parking area, though small, is a popular access point for the southeast section of the Lower Haw River State Natural Area. 
Reflections on the Haw
Our Board of Directors held a retreat in February to reflect on the past year and plan for this year.  One of our first exercises was to list what has been accomplished so far.  What an amazing list it turned out to be!  For a new organization that just formed last July, we have done quite a lot:
  • Wrote chapter by-laws and got approved as a Friends of State Parks local chapter
  • Developed vision and mission statements
  • Created website, Facebook page, Google calendar, eNewsletters
  • Created color brochure about our chapter and two maps of the Lower Haw River SNA
  • Set up ability to accept online donations and membership applications
  • Held an annual fall membership meeting with guest speaker
  • Grown our membership to over 55 people, and donations are starting to come in to build up our funds
  • Gotten media coverage in local newspapers
  • Conducted an online survey on canoe access
  • Started a trash can volunteer project
  • Held nature hike last November, scheduled another hike and a river clean-up team for this spring
I’m so proud of our Executive Committee, Board of Directors, and member volunteers who have helped our chapter accomplish so much in so short a time.  Our chapter is going to do even more in the coming years to support the Lower Haw River SNA, and I’m honored to be part of this wonderful organization.
Gretchen Smith
President, Friends of Lower Haw River State Natural Area

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Friends of Lower Haw River State Natural Area · PO Box 65 · Bynum, NC 27228 · USA

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