Learn about rare plants, such as diamorpha smallii displaying eye-catching red before donning white flowers, that grow in granite in our Piedmont region. In this panel session we will be joined by representatives from Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, Panola Mountain State Park, and Stone Mountain Park. These organizations will be talking about their efforts to protect these unique species. In addition, you will learn about the native plants and trees that grow around the granite.
About the Organizations:
Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve: The Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve is managed by DeKalb County and protects 2,500 acres of mixed hardwood forests, wetlands, creeks, and unique granite outcrops that are home to rare and protected species. Visitors can explore the Preserve sunrise to sunset via multi-use paved PATH trails and hiking trails. While the Preserve is considered an exceptional ecological wonder the area is also very much influenced by human hands. The evidence of quarrying activities are apparent in the industrial debris left on the mountain and of the abandoned structures once used by workers for storage, offices and shelter. The ruins of quarry buildings are found interspersed throughout the Preserve and metal spikes that were used to split the granite are still embedded in the rock.
Panola Mountain State Park: The mountain is similar to both Stone Mountain and Heritage Area sister, Arabia Mountain but unlike either, it has never been quarried. Today, the park has expanded to more than 1,600 acres and includes lakes, a former golf course now returned to nature and early settler homesteads. Hikers may explore the park’s watershed and granite outcrop on their own, or they may make reservations to join park rangers for guided hikes onto the restricted-access mountain. Panola Mountain is a designated a National Natural Landmark and it was created in the early 1970’s to protect the delicate ecological features of this 100-acre granite monadnock.
Stone Mountain Park: Along with a distinctive history as old as the mountain, there are several different and unique natural communities within Stone Mountain Park. Exploring the park’s natural and social history will reveal a diverse number of plants, animals, and artifacts that inhabit the mountain and surrounding protected areas. Over two-thirds of the park has been designated the “Natural District” by the Stone Mountain Memorial Association which prohibits further development. The Natural District includes pristine woodlands, streams, lakes, fields, and most notably the mountain’s granite outcrop community. Many restoration projects have been implemented within the Natural District including invasive species removal and streamside improvements.