Riverside Canebrake Restoration - January Monthly Meeting

An expert in propagating river cane will describe the ecological value of North America’s only native bamboo species and his efforts to restore canebrakes in a presentation at the Oconee Rivers Audubon Society’s next meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 7, at Sandy Creek Nature Center.

Thomas Peters of Athens, who earned a master’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Georgia, has recorded some success in propagating cane, which once formed dense stands along rivers throughout the Southeast. Millions of acres of cane have disappeared due to development, agriculture, grazing and other factors.

River cane not only provides habitat for wildlife, including birds like Swainson’s warblers, but provides a buffer along waterways which helps to reduce erosion and absorb some of the runoff from farms and developments. The Cherokee and other Southeastern natives had a variety of uses for cane, such as arrows, baskets and woven mats. European settlers used cane for whistles, tobacco pipes and fishing poles.

The meeting will be held in the Nature Center’s Education and Visitor Center, 205 Old Commerce Road off U.S. Highway 441 north of Athens. To reach the center from the Loop 10 bypass, exit at U.S. Highway 441/Commerce Road and turn north toward Commerce. Go approximately a mile, turn left at the Sandy Creek Nature Center sign and go to the end of the road. Turn left at Old Commerce Road; parking for the Education and Visitor Center will be on the right.