Wildlands Engineering continues to protect the dwarf-flowered heartleaf

In April of this year, Wildlands’ Double Rock Mitigation Project wrapped up construction, completed by Wildlands Construction. Located in the Catawba River basin, a unique aspect of this project is the presence of a rare species of plant called the dwarf-flowered heartleaf (Hexastylis naniflora)!

 

The dwarf-flowered heartleaf species is only found in several counties across North and South Carolina and is currently listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. However, in 2021, the USFWS proposed to de-list it. When the dwarf-flowered heartleaf was initially put on the endangered species list in 1989, there were only 24 known populations, distributed across North and South Carolina. Since then, through the combined efforts of various non-profits, land conservation organizations, and private landowners, the dwarf-flowered heartleaf has made a tremendous comeback. There are currently over 120 known populations, of which several of these sites are thriving with more than 1,000 plants, many are found on protected conservation lands.

 

Wildlands has had the opportunity to partner with many organizations, as well as private landowners, to create, implement, and preserve these stable habitats for endangered species such as the dwarf-flowered heartleaf. The organizations that have played a key role in conserving this species are: Foothills Land Conservancy, Catawba Lands Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, National Park Service, Broad River Greenway, North Carolina Department of Transportation, Duke Energy, private landowners, State of North Carolina.

 

In 2023, Wildlands scientist identified and delineated the dwarf-flowered heartleaf population alongside USFWS within our project area. Wildlands worked closely with Wildlands Construction team to avoid any impacts to the population and conserve 3 acres of the dwarf-flowered heartleaf population and habitat that will be protected in perpetuity within the conservation easement. Wildlands is thrilled to be a part of the dwarf-flowered heartleaf’s conservation effort through the implementation of the Double Rock Mitigation Project.

Source: https://www.fws.gov/story/2021-04/proposed-delisting-dwarf-flowered-heartleaf

 

A glimpse into working at Wildlands Engineering

Take an inside look at what it’s like to work at Wildlands Engineering! One of our environmental scientists, George R. DeCarvalho, shares the key aspects of his job that make each day more fulfilling and valuable.

 

Wildlands’ purpose is to make an impact on the environment. We do this by forming a team of driven, like-minded individuals who are passionate about restoring the environment – all while inspiring their teammates along the way.

 

Interested in joining our team? Check out our current job openings »

 

Working at Wildlands Engineering from Wildlands Engineering on Vimeo.

Wildlands Engineering Makes an Impact in the Neuse River Basin – Home of the River of the Year

American Rivers recently named the Neuse River the 2022 “River of the Year because of “outstanding progress toward a cleaner, healthier Neuse River.” Momentum has been building to improve the ecological condition of the entire Neuse River basin and Wildlands is honored to be an ongoing part of it. Since 2007, Wildlands has restored over 164,600 LF of stream and 93 of wetlands, just in the Neuse River basin. Wildlands has also completed four large-scale watershed studies that total over 700 square miles. Additionally, Wildlands also owns, manages, and operates 22 private mitigation bank sites located in the Neuse River basin. Each mitigation bank was established by restoring and enhancing degraded streams, wetlands, and riparian buffers located on private property.

This experience has allowed our team to understand the challenges and opportunities that waterways present to the local communities. Furthermore, we understand the importance of healthy natural systems to these communities. We are constantly developing unique solutions for ecological restoration to improve the environment and preserve the natural corridors that make this area of the state unique.

Located in the heart of the Neuse River basin is Wildlands’ Raleigh office. This is our second largest office with a full-service staff of project managers, professional engineers, field-oriented environmental scientists, ecologists, construction managers, GIS analysts, CAD operators, and administrative staff. With approximately 30 staff members that call this river basin home, we are dedicated to further enhancing the ecological and civic value of this well-loved watershed.

Wildlands has partnered with organizations such as NC Division of Mitigation Services, City of Raleigh, City of Durham, and Johnston County to improve the health of the Neuse River basin. The following map shows Wildlands’ projects in the Neuse River basin.

 

The Wildlands Engineering Team is making an impact in our communities

Since its inception in 2015, Wildlands’ corporate giving and volunteer program, One + One Initiative, has matured, yet its mission has remained the same — serving the under-served in local communities. Each year, the Wildlands team collectively selects the organizations to support through this initiative. Throughout the year, Wildlands makes monetary donations and gives each employee eight hours of paid time to spend volunteering at our partner organizations.

Our internal Committee on Equality (CoE) recently provided guidance to further shape the focus of the One+One initiative. Their guidance led Wildlands in selecting its company-wide partners, Boys and Girls Club and Letters to a Pre-Scientist. Additionally, in 2022, Wildlands added opportunities to support STEM education while building upon partnerships of years past. CLICK HERE to view the organizations we are currently supporting.

 

Our Charleston office recently spent the day working with Charleston Waterkeeper to build an oyster reef. Charleston Waterkeeper and volunteers partnered with South Carolina Department of Natural Resources’ (SCDNR) South Carolina Oyster Recycling and Enhancement (SCORE) program to use recycled oyster shells to reestablish a suitable environment for new oyster growth. Oyster reefs improve water quality by filtering water, and provide habitat for coastal animals such as fish, crabs, shrimp, and birds.