WakeNature Application and Review Process

The WakeNature Preserves Partnership invites you to submit an application for designation of a property under your stewardship as a “WakeNature Preserve” (WNP). The “WakeNature Preserve” designation helps educate the public about and ensure preservation of WakeCounty's finest natural resources. Applications are considered monthly. WNPPApplication.pdf

The mission of the WakeNature Preserves Partnership is to organize and provide resources to identify ecologically valuable open spaces within Wake County and to build capacity for appropriate management and long-term stewardship of those areas. More information about the Partnership and WakeNature Preserves, including a suggested management plan template , is linked to our homepage at www.WakeNature.org.

We strongly encourage you to contact WakeNature before beginning the application process.

A separate application should be completed for each WNP designation request. You may apply for“preliminary” or “final” WNP designation. A preliminary application would be filed if you are expressing your intent for the property to become a WNP but need assistance in completing amanagement plan or initial inventory for the property. Final designation would be sought if you have determined that the property meets the criteria for a WNP and have completed a management and stewardship plan.

Your application must include:

Process Overview

  1. Organization submits to WakeNature an application, including a stewardship plan, to nominate a property for WakeNature Preserve designation. The stewardship plan can be created in consultation with WakeNature or independently by the submitting organization. WNPPApplication.pdf
  2. An Application Review Committee will be formed to review the application against criteria established and published by WakeNature for preserve designation and stewardship plans and make a recommendation to the WakeNature Preserves Partnership. The committee will comprise people with expertise appropriate to the natural resources on the property being considered. The committee will first determine if the property contains qualifying features, as defined by WakeNature criteria. If it does not, the application will be denied.
  3. The committee will consider the adequacy of the management plan to conserve the qualifying features, with particular emphasis on the management priority, preserve alteration, and public access recommendations in the criteria.
  4. As part of the review process the submitting organization will be asked to lead a site visit to the property.
  5. The Application Review Committee will recommend (1) approval, (2) provisional approval, or (3) denial of the application. If provisional approval is recommended, the committee will outline the conditions under which approval would be granted. If the applicant satisfies those conditions or provides reasonable explanations for why it cannot, as determined by the committee, the recommendation will be changed to approval. If denial is recommended, the committee will explain why. In the case of denial WakeNature may work with the submitting organization to rectify shortcomings of the stewardship plan, if the property contains qualifying features.
  6. Once a recommendation of approval or denial is reached by the committee, that recommendation will be brought to the voting members of the WakeNature Preserves Partnership for a yes/no/abstain vote. This vote may be taken electronically. Members of the partnership will have access to the final management plan before voting.
  7. WakeNature reviews the status of properties periodically (every five years is currently being considered) and may revoke WakeNature Preserve status, if the site is not being managed properly or no longer satisfies WakeNature criteria.

Application form: WNPPApplication.pdf