Barra Farms is an extraordinary property that has produced high-quality non-riparian mitigation since RS co-founder George Howard established his first mitigation bank at the farm in 1997.
In 2011, a 2nd 1838 acre mitigation bank was approved for the tract and sponsored by the owner of property, agricultural legend Stewart Precythe, President, Southern Produce, Faison, N.C. Restoration Systems serves a unique role as Precythe’s exclusive sales and marketing partner for the bank.
A HARDWORKING CAROLINA BAY
Barra Farms is a 5500 acre tract of mixed uses: Agriculture, Timber, Large-Scale Compensatory Mitigation and National Security. Over 1000 acres of the tract is high-technology farmland, 2000 acres are permitted mitigation banks, and a final 1000 acres comprise the latest live-fire Special Forces training center in the United States, operated by Tiger Swan, Inc.
The ecological and geological setting of the property is also extraordinary. Barra Farms is one the world’s largest “Carolina Bays.” More than 50,000 of these mysterious, shallow oval depressions litter the Coastal Plain from New Jersey to Alabama. Carolina bays are a perfect setting for wetland restoration, as natural bathtubs they ensure hydrological success, as well as host dozens of uniquely suited wetland species.
Renowned Duke University wetland researcher Curtis Richardson has published several articles and conducts regular field trips and classes at Barra Farms. His laboratory has documented the benefits of wetland restoration at Barra:
After the site had been restored to wetlands in the late 1990s and the outflow rerouted into the Cape Fear River, we found water quality improvements, including reduced levels of nitrogen and phosphorus. This restoration is improving waters near Fayetteville and downstream drinking water near Wilmington.– Curt Richardson, Raleigh News and Observer, April 30, 2011