It's official! Friends of Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve (FOW) is up and running as a result of the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between SALT and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. SALT established the Friends of Weymouth committee to provide support for community outreach programs at the park and to accept tax-free donations made in support of Weymouth Woods. The FOW committee is a completely separate entity from the Friends of Weymouth Center, a group unaffiliated with SALT that operates to support Weymouth Center and not Weymouth Woods.
Have you ever thought of what it costs to run a state park? The current state budget crisis only exacerbates the level of funding available for our state parks. The rangers at Weymouth Woods periodically update a list of needs that cannot be funded by their state budget. These items cover all aspects of the park from resource management to park operations to interpretation and education. Donations to FOW are used to fund projects from this list that includes items such as native plant restoration, updated species checklists, and trail improvements.
Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve is a popular place in the Sandhills for outdoor activities such as hiking, bird watching, and horseback riding. Located near the western edge of Fort Bragg, Weymouth Woods is home to some of the oldest remaining longleaf pines in the Southeast and several endangered species such as pine barrens tree frogs, red-cockaded woodpeckers, and Wells's pixie moss. Other longleaf pine specialists you might encounter include Bachman's sparrows and fox squirrels.
Donations to FOW are tax-deductible and can be made using the donation box at the park office. For information on programs currently offered at Weymouth Woods, park hours, or directions, contact the park at 692-2167. For more information on FOW, contact the SALT office at 695-4323.