A blog from Special Collections and University Archives


Posted: November 13, 2014

Brochure with map of the preserve     Front of a brochure for the preserve

A recent research request sent in to University Archives involved the university’s history of land use and property transactions. The Bluethenthal Wildflower Preserve represents one way the university has made use of campus land. This month marks 40 years since the Bluethenthal Wildflower Preserve was dedicated on November 8, 1974. Named for Herbert Bluethenthal, the preserve began with a donation from Mrs. Bleuthenthal in honor of her late husband, a Wilmington native who died in World War I. After her donation in 1973 the university set aside about 10 acres of land behind Hoggard Hall and near the university’s existing nature trail. New trails were created in order to grant easy access to areas that included excellent examples of the native flora of Southeastern North Carolina.  The preserve has been further developed over the years to offer the best examples of unique plants of the region.

The dedication ceremony featured the unveiling of the memorial to Herbert Bluethenthal by Mrs. Bleuthenthal as well as the presentation of a monument honoring the contributions to botany by Dr. Bertram Wells, a noted botanist who worked in North Carolina for much of his career. Both Dr. Wells and Mrs. Bleuthenthal were honored guests at the dedication.

The preserve is intended for use both by the public as well as students in fields such as biology. The University Archives has a range of materials about Bluethenthal Wildflower Preserve and the dedication including photos, brochures, Seahawk newspaper articles, and newspaper clippings in the university’s annual scrapbooks.

2014 photo of Bluethenthal Memorial  2014 photo of bench area in Bluethenthal Preserve

Further Resources from Archives: 

Bluethenthal Preserve Brochures

The Seahawk, November 20, 1974

More Photos from the Dedication Ceremony

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