Chapter of the Month: Forsyth Audubon - Yadkin Nature Trail Now Open

Audubon North Carolina has 10 amazing chapters across the state who help put a local focus on bird preservation and conservation issues. In this special blog series, we’ll focus on a chapter each month to learn more about their history, what they are working on, and to increase the statewide understanding of special ecosystems and habitats. Each month will include a series of posts about each chapter including a post from our biologists that will share a unique research project that is happening in the chapter’s geographic footprint.

This month’s chapter is Forsyth Audubon in Winston-Salem and we’re proud to highlight their partnership with Forsyth County to open a brand new trail in one of their parks!

The Yadkin River Nature Trail at Tanglewood Park officially opened June 10 with a ceremony for local officials and other invited guests, including Forsyth County Commissioners Ted Kaplan and Gloria Whisenhunt. The trail is the result of a collaborative effort between Forsyth Audubon and the park, and is located in the area between the river and the BMX road – now designated as the Audubon Trail.

A Partnership Like No Other:

The project comes after a previous collaboration between the County and Forsyth Audubon on a native warm season grass restoration project. After years of this enriching partnership, the County then asked Forsyth Audubon to develop signage for a nature trail.

Forsyth Audubon set to work securing funding and designing the educational signage. Twelve signs now welcome visitors in the southwest corner of the park.

This area includes geographical features, including the native grassland, bottomland woods and an oxbow that support a diversity of wildlife from frogs to butterflies to hawks and owls. Funding was provided by US Fish and Wildlife Service, Duke Energy and Pilot View Inc./Resource Institute.

The first of 12 signs interpreting the wildlife along the trail. L-R: USFWS biologist Laura Fogo, Ron Morris, Carol Gearhart and the graphic designer, Diane Villa.

Open to the Public:

Forsyth Audubon introduced the trail to the public with guided nature walks along the trail June 14 and June 21. Now anyone can visit the park and check out the trail, which loops around an area long a favorite of local birders during all seasons.

It’s easy to access the trail from the parking area near Skilpot Lake. By using the website address or QR code on the introductory sign, trail users can access additional information about what they will see.

Much thanks goes to everyone who worked on this project! Forsyth’s own Ron Morris developed the content for each sign, and Carol Gearhart worked to bring everything together. Graphic designer Diane Villa, David Disher and Will Stuart donated most of the photographs used on the signs as well.

Finally, we want to recognize the contributions of County Parks and Recreation Director Mark Anderson, Assistant Parks and Recreation Director Chris Weavil and Mark Serosky, recently retired from the Tanglewood staff.