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Annie Louise Wilkerson, MD Nature Preserve Park
5229 Awls Haven Drive
Raleigh, NC 27614
Park Description

In February 2006, the City of Raleigh received an amazing gift of 157 acres of land along Falls Lake to create its first designated nature preserve. Dr. Annie Louise Wilkerson, a renowned Raleigh doctor with many pioneering achievements in her 53-year career in medicine, stipulated in her will that the park be maintained as a "nature preserve park" used for the primary purpose of nature and wildlife education.

Phase One of park development has been completed and consists of a park preserve office, an educational shelter and restrooms. The restrooms utilize an innovative water conservation and re-use system. One of the existing residences on the park was re-purposed into the park office, which has a small solar array, car charging station and permeable parking area. In the future, Dr. Annie"s former residence will be converted into a visitor center with indoor classrooms and exhibits. The nature preserve consists of oak-hickory forest and open fields that will be maintained as Piedmont prairie. Three farm ponds and five perennial streams shelter various aquatic species.

Park Features
The park is unique in that it is set aside for the sole purpose of helping visitors connect with nature through programs, hikes and self study. The park will be managed to preserve existing natural communities and native species.

Park Activities
Dr. Annie"s will outlines the activities that can occur at the park: "That the property herein conveyed shall be maintained as a nature preserve park, and used for the primary purpose of nature and wildlife education, the study and research into methods of conservation, and shall not be used for general recreation or any other purpose inconsistent with the primary purposes set forth."

Hiking and wildlife watching are the main activities at the nature preserve. Visitors are encouraged to follow a "leave no trace" ethic. A loop trail through the oak-hickory forest (0.6 mi) has been developed. Visitors will also enjoy several mown paths through the meadows that lead to a one-acre farm pond. Other trails are planned for the future, including a trail through rocky outcrops that showcase the geology of the area.

Park Programs
The park is administered through the Nature Program of Raleigh Parks and Recreation, and its mission is to expose residents of all ages to the natural resources of our capital city through education, school programs, camps, public programs and events. Park staff provides programming for the public and for organized groups at the park. Public programming for individuals is listed in RecLink. In our first year of operation, we will be creating programs for schools and groups. Group size is typically around 30 students. Please contact the Park Manager to discuss programming needs for your class or group. Call at least two weeks in advance to schedule a hike or program for your group.

Cost of Programs/Admission
The park has no admission fees. Some nature programs are free and others have a small fee to cover the cost of materials.

Park Accessibility
The park office, including educational shelter and restrooms meet all ADA guidelines. Currently all the trails are natural surface, but accessible trails are planned for the future.

Hours of Operation: Seasonal Hours Starting Nov. 5th 2011 Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5:30pm. Sunday 1pm-5:30pm CLOSED MONDAY

Fees: No entry fees for this park
Metro Region: Triangle, NC
Park Management: City

Handicap Accessible   Nature Reserve   Open Space   Parking   Pond/Stream/Lake   Restrooms   Scenic Views   Trails, Natural Surface   Water Fountain   Wildlife Viewing