This month marks 40 years since the dedication of the Herbert Bluethenthal Memorial Wildflower Preserve at UNCW on November 8, 1974. The preserve honors the memory of Herbert Bluethenthal, a successful business-owner in Wilmington.
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 his widow, Mrs. Janet Bleuthenthal, as well as the presentation of a monument honoring 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.
Herbert's brother, Arthur, served with the French as a bomber pilot along with other Americans during World War I. He was the first North Carolinian killed in action in World War I.
Resources from Archives:
Bluethenthal Preserve Brochure
The Seahawk, November 20, 1974
Photo from Dedication Ceremony