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Nurture our Native Plants
Discover Ways to use the Carolina Beach Lake Walk as an Outdoor Classroom!
Carolina Beach Lake is a beautiful part of our community. This 11-acre naturally-occurring freshwater lake and its wetlands provide habitat for many plant and animal species, collect stormwater, and help reduce flooding. The lake is a place for our community to gather, learn, move, and celebrate this special place where we live.
If you sit quietly by the lake, chances are a turtle will pop its head out of the water. The lake and its surrounding habitats provide food and shelter for many turtle species, including yellow-bellied sliders, snapping turtles, diamondback terrapins, eastern box turtles, mud turtles, and spotted turtles. These turtles are omnivores, which means they will eat insects, fish, fish eggs, worms, amphibians, plants, flowers, and berries. Aquatic vegetation is important for many turtle species.
We're keeping this area natural. Why? Because native trees, grasses, and wildflowers are local heroes! They have evolved over many centuries to survive in this exact place and provide habitat and food for pollinators like butterflies, bees, and birds. Native plants also have deep root systems that help absorb water during large rainfall events and that help stabilize the soil. This helps reduce erosion and sedimentation of our waterways.
Do you like to watch birds? The lake and its wetlands provide food for many wading birds including the Black-crowned night heron, green heron, Little blue heron, Great blue heron, Cattle egret, Snowy egret, Great egret, White ibis, and Glossy ibis. We had several Roseate spoonbills at the lake in 2021 and 2022! Many species of songbirds and wading birds enjoy the habitats at our natural lake year-round.
Some birds are migratory, and like tourists, they only stay for a little while to rest and eat. Carolina Beach Lake is an important stop on the Atlantic Flyway for migratory birds. These birds fly south each fall to overwinter where there is food and each spring they fly north to breed and nest. Some migratory birds travel short distances, and some, like the snow goose, breed in the arctic in the spring, and then migrate south in the winter. We had a snow goose visit us in 2021. What special migratory birds have you seen at the lake?
Did you know that according to the US Department of Agriculture, one of every three bites of food we eat is the direct result of pollinators? Birds, bees, bats, beetles, butterflies, moths, and other bugs aren't just nice to have in nature; they are essential to our survival. They also have specific needs. For instance, many pollinators can only eat a single species of plant. When the plant is gone, so is the pollinator. You can help strengthen the food web for wildlife and humans by planting a variety of native plants in your community.
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