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Volunteers to ID park's plants and critters

FLAT ROCK — Flat Rock park developers are calling all bird watchers — and wildflower aficionados and keen-eyed observers of critters.

Dovetailing with plans to develop the park as a natural preserve with low-intensity amenities like a pavilion and picnic shelters, a volunteer group sent out a request for help identifying and recording the plants and animals in the 67-acre park along King Creek.
"As all of you know, at the core of the vision for The Park at Flat Rock is conservation of the diverse ecosystem there and the purposeful use of it to educate Park visitors," Ron Redmon said in the announcement. "To those ends, a group of two dozen residents of Highland Lake Village have initiated a project to catalog the abundant flora and fauna that call the Park home."
"We have a very active sustainability group and gardening club that has had their eyes on this from the beginning," he said. "We've gotten the blessing from the Park Advisory Committee. The whole point of this has to do with the education mission of the park, not just that we love nature, although we do."
The residents spearheading the nature hunt hope many park visitors will take part.
"In addition to doing the cataloging, our desire is that this undertaking has wide participation across Flat Rock —geographically, generationally, and in every other way — so that in the process the project will contribute to the 'constituency for success of the Park,'" said Redmon, who was a member of the original park exploratory committee and currently serves on the Flat Rock Park and Recreation Foundation.
The Highland Lake Village group is seeking volunteers from neighborhoods, the Henderson County Bird Club, the Western Carolina Botanical Club, Bullington Gardens, ECO, the NC Agricultural Extension Service, the Flat Rock Playhouse master gardeners group, scout troops and schools.
"We've already had yeses from the Botanical Club and the bird club," Redmon said.
The steering group has scheduled an organizational meeting for 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, at the Flat Rock Village Hall.
"Our goal is to have a sizable inventory of the plants and animals in the Park ecosystem a year from now that can be used to create nature guides, displays for the interpretive center and for promotional materials," he said.
To see photos of the park, go to the Facebook page of The Park at Flat Rock. For more information or to sign up for the organizational meeting, contact Redmon at 828.697.3657 or