Critical Area—Fragile Ecosystem—Preserved in 1991
A Fragile Wetland Host for Lady Slippers and More
Edna Soper donated 42 acres in 1991 in honor of her late husband, James C. Soper, to ensure the survival of the lady slippers that can be prolific here. In 1995, observers counted at least 1,000 showy lady slippers at Soper Natural Area near Northport. In 2002, only six flowers bloomed. We are fairly sure that changes in the water table determine the comings and goings of this treasured spring beauty. Meanwhile, a wealth of other wild flowers live in Soper’s cedar swamp: twinflower, toothwort, and trailing arbutus. Local trees include red maple, birch, willow, and the blistery-barked balsam fir.
The Conservancy is actively managing this natural area to restore the showy lady slipper population. During this management period, we ask that you respect the fragile nature of this area and not visit.
In 2008, 38 acres were added. Plans for trails on the new property are in the works.