University City launches Barton Creek Greenway Native Meadow

By Azania Herron

Volunteers plant the Native Meadow on April 25

University City Partners, University of North Carolina at Charlotte Botanical Gardens and North Carolina Native Plant Society have partnered to install Barton Creek Greenway Native Meadows, a community native plant project in University City.

On April 25, volunteers and Botanical Gardens staff planted native flowers and shrubs on cleared land near the greenway’s trailhead at JW Clay Boulevard in University Place.

A unique addition to our greenway network

Barton Creek Greenway Native Meadow is a unique addition to the natural landscape in University City and will enhance the greenway experience for users and nearby residents. Barton Creek Greenway, which opened in 2020, connects University Place to a growing network of greenways running for more than a dozen miles through UNC Charlotte, University Research Park and numerous University City neighborhoods.

Those trails, in turn, are part of the 26-mile Cross Charlotte Trail, the 15-county Carolina Thread Trail and an emerging statewide network of trails.

A breath of fresh air – and a place to learn

A steep slope beside Barton Creek Greenway was cleared for the Native Meadow

“University City offers the best of both worlds in that we have a vibrant urban center, but also gorgeous tree canopy and greenways that can be accessed by neighborhoods, University Research Park, the light rail or by parking at one of several entrances,” said Darlene Heater, Executive Director of University City Partners. “The Barton Creek Greenway Native Meadow is a project that we’re excited to support as we pursue development that enhances our connected greenways. The meadow will provide a breath of fresh air for greenway users and expand their experience while visiting the gorgeous botanical gardens at UNC Charlotte.”

The UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens were voted one of top three destinations to visit in Charlotte in 2019. The outdoor gardens are free and open daily from dawn to dusk.

Plant guide for the Barton Creek Greenway Native Meadow (double-click on the image to view at full size)

“The Botanical Gardens and Native Plant Society are committed to protecting the ecosystem through the use of native plants in this project,” said Ed Davis, Horticultural Supervisor and Landscape Architect of UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens. “Native plants are better for the environment and local pollinators, and they are beautiful, as well. We hope that visitors will be inspired by the Barton Creek Native Meadows and incorporate native plants in their own home landscapes and gardens. We are appreciative of the opportunity to work with University City Partners on this project.”

The garden is made possible through leadership from UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens in design, plant acquisition and coordination; University City Partners in funding and coordination; and North Carolina Native Plant Society – Southern Piedmont Chapter in the area of installation.

About University City Partners

University City Partners invests resources in shaping public spaces and planning for a better-built environment, influencing the way University City residents and visitors live, work, play and learn.

University City Partners also invites others to invest in the University City community by way of a headquarters or home.

The organization focuses on new development, businesses, and road and transit infrastructure while also helping to build relationships and community.

About UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens

The UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens consist of free, public botanical gardens and greenhouses which are located on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The mission of the Gardens is to inspire a love for plants and nature through programming, classes, and botanical displays. Learn more

About NC Native Plant Society – Southern Piedmont Chapter

The mission of the NC Native Plant Society is to promote the enjoyment and conservation of North Carolina’s native plants and their habitats through education, protection, cultivation, and advocacy. Learn more


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