Raney Preserve adds to the Stillhouse Bottom Natural Area

Sun filters through the deciduous forest in the Stillhouse Bottom Natural Area

We’re excited to announce 25 acres ranked exceptional by the NC Natural Heritage Program have been added to the greater Stillhouse Bottom Natural Area, doubling its size. Our latest land conservation acquisition will be named the Raney Preserve after the former landowners who generously contributed to the purchase by offering the land as a bargain sale.

Adding this significant tract to the North Carolina Botanical Garden Foundation conservation preserves system takes us one step further in our hopes of a 100-acre Stillhouse Bottom Natural Area in southern Chapel Hill. It also adds to the Morgan Creek Bluffs Natural Area that connects with North Carolina Botanical Garden nature preserves along Morgan Creek, the New Hope Gameland, and wildlife corridor that extends all the way to the Atlantic Ocean through the Cape Fear River Basin.

Contributors to this significant land purchase include the Town of Chapel Hill, New Hope Audubon Society, 99 private citizens, and the North Carolina Land & Water Fund. Preserving this land has been a goal of our conservation department since 1999, and there is no way to adequately express our thanks for the support that made this purchase possible. Currently, the preserve is not open to the public while we create a trail and map.

Stay tuned for a more comprehensive article in our Conservation Gardener magazine on the extraordinary Stillhouse Bottom natural area, its history, ecological importance, and how you might help to create our very own Hundred Acre Wood in the Southern Part of Heaven!