Protecting 20 acres in Worth County, near Albany in southwest Georgia, Dry Creek Swamp is a cypress-gum swamp. The ground gradually rises on the site, where the vegetation changes to a pine-hardwood forest. Here, a few remnants of the original longleaf pine-wiregrass community may still be seen, as well as a small population of the endangered Cooley meadowrue.
Only 9 populations of Cooley meadowrue are known to exist, and the one at Dry Creek Swamp is only known population in Georgia. A tall and spindly white-flowered perennial, the Cooley meadowrue grows along the edges of intermittent drainage areas. There are separate males and females of the plant, so open spaces are required for the wind to transport pollen from one sex to the other. The unusual Turk’s-cap lily also adorns the site, as does the rare woods poppy-mallow, which bears deep pink flowers.
The Nature Conservancy purchased the site in 1993 specifically for preservation of the Cooley meadowrue. Staff performs ongoing site management, and the Georgia Department of Transportation and Mitchell Electrical Membership Corporation have agreed to only mow their rights-of-way along the highway in fall and winter to help protect the meadowrue population. The staff of Miller Brewing Company in Albany also aids with hands-on management. Prescribed burns may eventually be used to reduce woody vegetation and to control exotic plants.
The preserve is open to the public. However, please make arrangements to visit the preserve by calling Preeya Philipp at (404) 253-7216 or email email@example.com.