Equinox facilitated the process and development of a plan for the creation of a 400 acre Teaching Research Reserve (TRR) located within the Blue Ridge Mountain Ecoregion and the Hickory Nut Gorge. Equinox provided an in-depth analysis and assessment of the properties natural assets, vision and goal setting for the client, a comprehensive master plan, and design guidelines - all driven by a group of diverse project stakeholders through active facilitation by the Equinox team. The detailed Natural Resource Inventory, conducted by Equinox, serves as the foundation for the development of the Master Planning process. Equinox’ ecologists identified numerous features that range from rare habitat and intact rare natural plant communities to endangered species including the Green Salamander (a NC endangered species). Our firm’s planners and designers then identified areas for facilities, public access, limited infrastructure, trailheads, an interconnected trail system, and ways to connect educators and students to the diversity of the habitat and the unique landscape features of the property all within a framework of ecological sensitivity.