Saving Our Savannas: Stories of the Longleaf Pine
Join us from January to June 2024 for Saving Our Savannas: Stories of the Longleaf Pine, a 6-month series of programs and events that honor the natural, cultural, and historical significance of these remarkable environments that are adapted to frequent fire, hold deep cultural significance, and are the origins of the reference to Tar Heels. Longleaf pine communities, including savannas, sandhills, and others, extend across the southeastern United States from Virginia to Texas. Longleaf pine is more than a tree, it is a legacy that we must protect and restore for the future.
January: Introduction to Longleaf Pine Communities
February: Longleaf Pine Natural Areas and Their Amazing Adaptations to Fire
March: Cultural Significance of Longleaf Pine Communities
April: The Longleaf Legacy: How a Vanishing Forest Shaped the History and Culture of the Southeast
May: Taking Action for Longleaf Pine Communities
June: Leaving a Legacy for the Future
The objectives of this program are to:
- Increase visibility/awareness to the conservation significance of longleaf pine natural areas
- Increase knowledge about longleaf pine natural areas
- Uplift the cultural significance and historic relationship of the longleaf pine natural areas to indigenous Tribal Nations in the southeastern U.S.
- Increase visibility/awareness of the complex history of the longleaf pine and historical impacts on the original Tar Heels.
- Inspire action to support conservation of longleaf pine natural areas.
Saving Our Savannas Sponsors
The Nature Conservancy
Southern Conservation Partners
American Indian Center
Chuck Roe & Charlotte Jones-Roe
Jackie and Rob Trickel
Triangle Land Conservancy
This program is partially supported by the NC Science Museums Grant Program.
Call for Sponsors
Organizations and individuals are asked to support overall cost of speakers, workshops, community engagement activities, exhibit creation, and program facilitation. All sponsorships are fully tax-deductible and contributors will be recognized in program literature.
Title Sponsor (1 available): $20,000
Program Sponsors (2 available): $10,000
Advocate Sponsors (4 available): $5,000
Promoter Sponsors (5 available): $2,500
Community Sponsors (unlimited): $1,000
To discuss additional ways to sponsor ‘Saving Our Savannas: Stories of the Longleaf Pine,’ contact Stephen Keith at 919-962-9458 or via email Stephen.Keith@unc.edu
February 27 – April 28, 2024
The Longleaf Pine Savanna – An Artistic Exploration of an Ecosystem
An exhibition by the members of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators Carolinas Chapter and North Carolina Botanical Artists
Exhibit Reception: Sunday, March 3; 2-4 p.m.
In the 1600’s, the longleaf pine ecosystem covered 90 million acres continuously that extended from Virginia to Florida and Texas. Due to extensive urbanization and fire exclusion, today it only exists in small areas. This rich ecosystem is one of the most diverse habitats in North America and includes many federal endangered species as well as species of concern. This exhibit includes a selection of flora and fauna that still exist in the longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) environment.
May 5 – June 28
Saving Our Savannas: A Community Art Exhibit
Calling artists of all ages and abilities: help us celebrate longleaf pine savannas by submitting a painting, drawing, photo, collage, or any other wall-mountable artwork to the Saving Our Savannas Community Art Exhibit! Learn more and submit your work by April 19.
North Carolina Botanical Garden
Joanna Massey Lelekacs, Director of Learning & Community Engagement, Convener
Mike Kunz, Director of Conservation Programs
Chris Liloia, Curator, Habitat Gardens
David Michaud, Program & Engagement Coordinator
Emily Oglesby, Communications & Exhibits Coordinator
Alan Weakley, Director of Herbarium
The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Department
Kevin Melvin, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer
NC Museum of History
Earl Ijames, Curator of African American History and Agriculture
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Jerry Reynolds, Head of Outreach
American Indian Center
Marissa Carmi, Associate Director
The Longleaf Alliance
Sarah Crate, Outreach Communications Coordinator
The Nature Conservancy – North Carolina Chapter
Debbie Crane, Communications Director
Triangle Native American Society
Jesalyn Keziah, Executive Director
Venus Flytrap Champions
Julie Moore, Coordinator