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Established in 1993, the Division of Nature Preserves and Natural Resources' mission is to protect the region's biodiversity and natural heritage for its inherent value and for the benefit of future generations by promoting open space preservation, conserving natural communities, and fostering awareness and stewardship through environmental education and outdoor recreation.
Our vision is for natural communities to exist within Mecklenburg County in perpetuity and for these interconnected high-quality natural areas to benefit and be valued by all citizens.
We are the principal government agency responsible for the protection, conservation, and management of Mecklenburg County's biological resources and natural areas. We operate three nature centers - Reedy Creek, McDowell, and Latta Plantation - and offer environmental education and nature programs to students of all ages, manage over 5,600 acres of nature preserves, promote biodiversity and open space preservation, monitor a diversity of wildlife populations, restore habitats for endangered and threatened plant species, and conserve natural communities such as bottomland hardwood forests and native grasslands.
The Division of Nature Preserves and Natural Resources is a unit of Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department and represents a major component of the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners Nature Preserve and Open Space program category. We align under the Growth Management & Environment focus area of Mecklenburg County's Managing for Results initiative.
Our funding is generated through Mecklenburg County property taxes, grants, donations, and fees from environmental education and outdoor recreation programs and services.