Palmetto Creek and the Green Swamp Preserve
About twenty miles from historic Wilmington, North Carolina, is the community of Palmetto Creek. Situated perfectly between the Southern charm of Wilmington and the excitement of Myrtle Beach, Palmetto Creek features amenities like six miles of walking and biking trails, a fitness center, resort-style pool, tennis courts, a putting green, kayak and canoe launch, and a boardwalk through the beautiful Palmetto Grove Preserve. Residents will be pleased to know that the beach is only ten minutes from their doorstep, offering the peacefulness of a coastal lifestyle. But this area has something else to offer its residents, too. The Green Swamp.
The Green Swamp Preserve covers about 15,907 acres—about 5.6% of the original Green Swamp. Inside you’ll discover some of the country’s best examples of long-leaf pine savannas, along with eighteen different species of orchid, fourteen species of insectivorous plants, and the home of rare animals. Though most of the preserve is dominated by pocosins—dense, evergreen shrub bog—the natural beauty of the swamp still shines through.
On your visit to the Green Swamp Preserve, you’ll get to see the ever mysterious Venus Fly Trap, a plant native to the wetlands of the East Coast in North and South Carolina. But that’s not the only carnivorous plant you’ll run into here. Sundews also call the Green Swamp home, as well as four types of the pitcher plant. And let’s not forget all the different orchids to be found (which are equally as fascinating, just not carnivorous).
The Green Swamp hosts a variety of rare animals, too. As you’re exploring, you might stumble upon the American alligator, the fox squirrel, Henslow’s sparrow, Bachman’s sparrow, Hessel’s hairstreak butterfly, and the red-cockaded woodpecker—a federally listed endangered species.
The Green Swamp is a diverse habitat, housing all these incredible species that you’ll be hard-pressed to see anywhere else. The swamp is aware of the things living in it, and therefore has a natural way of protecting those inhabitants: fire. The majority of the plants within the Green Swamp benefit from periodic burnings. This ensures that the native plants, grasses, and trees hold their ground from being taken over by competition, the faster growing fauna. The long-leaf pines are dependent on fire so they can prevent the invasion of hardwoods. Their pine cones need the heat from the fire to disperse their seeds, producing more trees. As strange as it sounds, fire is a good thing at the Green Swamp. It’s what keeps it beautiful.
With the Green Swamp Preserve being so close to Palmetto Creek, you can explore this preserve whenever the urge strikes. Along with all the other amazing amenities, it’s just one more thing that makes living in Palmetto Creek that much more special.