Thursday, August 26, 2021

Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary

Let us take a minute to celebrate the local nature lovers who came before us. Maybe most especially today, Anne Springs Close, conservationist, philanthropist and benefactor of the beautiful, sprawling eponymous greenway and nature preserve, who died last week. 

The Anne Springs Close Greenway is a gift to the environment and to everyone in our community, given by a beautiful soul with an appreciation for the virtues of our natural surroundings. 

Same with the McGill Rose Garden, dreamt up and brought to life by Helen McGill in the 1950s, and the public gardens at the historic Duke Mansion, cultivated by James B. Duke in the early 1900s. 

Add to those Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary, the legacy of two women named Elizabeth who created a sanctuary for wildlife, plants and Charlotte neighbors in the heart of Myers Park during the first half of the 20th century. Ten houses apart on Ridgewood Ave., Elizabeth Clarkson and her husband Edwin and Elizabeth Lawrence built magnificent gardens that live on for visitors of all ages for miles around to enjoy today. To visit is to be taken back in time and immersed in a natural oasis. 

For younger visitors, a more recent addition is the SEED Wildlife & Children’s Garden with beautiful, whimsical features and activity centers for a hands-on experience. 

We love to stroll through the labyrinth of garden trails, sit and listen to birdsong on benches under the sprawling tree canopy, read the quotes hidden in and among the plants, and study the beauty of all the living things that call Wing Haven home. 

Wing Haven, which is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., hosts tours and other events. (Face masks are currently required inside Wing Haven's buildings). Admission is free for members, $10 for adults and children over 10, and free for children 10 and under. Tickets are available, at the door, online or by phone.

Thank you, Anne, Helen, James, Elizabeth, Elizabeth, and many others who, with foresight and love of community and nature, left us the gift of green space. May we honor your legacy through our own conservation efforts and shared appreciation for the great outdoors. 

How to get there: 
Wing Haven is located at 248 Ridgewood Ave, Charlotte, NC 28209. Out of consideration for neighbors, visitors are strongly encouraged to park in the lot at 260 Ridgewood Ave.

No comments:

Post a Comment