Saturday, June 21, 2008
On a recent visit, my sister-in-law, Anita, who works for The Nature Conservancy in Virginia, took us to see the newly completed Big Darby Creek Headwaters Nature Preserve. It is only a few miles from our house and was a perfect hike for my mother and father-in-law and three little boys, my nephew Xan and grandson Gaige who are both six years old, and grandson Nathan who is five. The trail is flat and over the wetlands is a decking trail. The boys had great fun trying to see who could spit and hit a spider that was sitting on a rock in the water.
Since 1999, The Conservancy has been gradually acquiring 800 acres of land encompassing Big Darby Creek Headwaters. This includes wetlands, floodplain forests and prairies that provide important habitat for plants and animals. The Big Darby Creek has been threatened in recent years by development, pollution and changes to the natural stream flow. Restoring the headwaters to its natural meandering flow will help reverse the damage done by highway construction and channel modifications made for farm drainage.