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What's with the Bamboo?

What's with the Bamboo?

Many guests are inquiring about the changes going on “next door” as they see the bamboo being removed on the other side of our perimeter fence. In 2016, Unity of The Blue Ridge Church, which owned 21 acres adjacent to Barkwells on the east and south, sold the south 11 acres across the creek from Barkwells. That property has become Carolina Memorial Sanctuary (CMS), the first conservation burial park in North Carolina.


bamboo by the creekA conservation easement with Conserving Carolina ensures that the CMS land will be cleared of invasive plants, replanted with native species, and restored to its historical, natural beauty. This work is financed by burials, both human and pet, full body or cremated remains, in graves that are hand dug with the contours of the earth. No embalming, concrete, steel, or non-biodegradable materials are used. Having seen the work that goes on there, the beauty of the services, from all faiths to no religious affiliation, and walked the public trails (dogs welcome on leash), Barkwells is proud to support this important and transformative project.

This year, a grant was obtained by CMS and Conserving Carolina to restore the McDowell Creek banks. As part of that work, the bamboo, which is exceedingly invasive (long-time guests can attest to its rampant spread) is being removed on the CMS side. In cooperation with the CMS grant, it is anticipated that Barkwells’ bamboo forest will be removed also.

Barkwells' memorial garden and stones will be relocated to a more intentional, four-season space being created between the barn and Baxter’s cabin. (See our blog, A Moving Memorial ). While we, too, enjoy the evergreen look of the bamboo, it is killing the hardwood trees and overtaking all native plants. We appreciate the work that CMS is doing to restore the integrity of our beautiful creek side and we look forward to a new “old” look to our creek side picnic area. We will still enjoy picnics by the creek, horseshoes and the fire pit and know that in the long run, Barkwells’ guests and dogs will enjoy the new forest that will grow to embrace the property along the creek and spring.