Rocky Shoals Spider Lily Preservation Project
McCormick County, SC
William Bartram called it Pancratium fluitans, we call it Hymenocallis coronaria, but either way the Rocky Shoals Spider Lily is a large, beautiful and rare lily that inhabits shoals and rapids in piedmont streams. Agricultural sedimentation and hydropower development of shoals have drastically reduced the occurrence of this spectacular native plant.
The Rocky Shoals Spider Lily Site
In collaboration with the South Carolina Native Plant Society, a site with excellent habitat on 12.8 acres of land and stream bed on Stevens Creek in McCormick County has been purchased by the Naturaland Trust. The stream arises and flows through a largely undeveloped, forested watershed, so the water quality in the stream is good. Several native fish species and a diverse community of aquatic insects, as well as some native mussel species are found in the stream. The lilies site comprises approximately 150 yards of shoals and rapids in the Creek.
The land contains mature pine timber as well as diverse mixed hardwoods. There is a turn-of-the-century grist mill with hydro-power structure and drive train largely intact but non-functional, and 200 yards of mill race canal. Just upstream from the property is an intact impoundment structure and gating for control of water flow to the mill. There is electricity and water on-site, as well as a toilet facility (attached to the mill building).
Although funds are available for the land purchase, additional funds are needed for closing costs and a conservation easement that will ensure the site is protected forever.
Other Costs and Site Improvements
There are improvements to the site that will be needed once the property is acquired. The SCNPS will be the primary manager of the property. Vegetation management will be minimal, probably limited to removing a few trees not native to the site, and a preliminary reduction of invasive species using manual control measures. Occasional controlled burns may be implemented if a workable and safe fire plan can be developed.
The mill needs a new roof to protect the structural integrity of the building. A bridge across the millrace canal will need to be replaced and upgraded. A metal grill will need to be installed over the open mill penstock, for the safety of visitors. We are contemplating building an open-sided pavilion to house meetings, workshops, etc.
If you would like to contribute to this important project, please fill out the donation form below. Thank you!