Pinecrest Camp & Retreat Center is the most recent chapter to join the Tennessee Naturalist Program, joining in the Fall of 2019.
Pinecrest stretches 450 acres of various ecosystems. The pines mainly dominate the entry-way, which then gives way to the mixed-age mature oak-hickory forest with both upland and bottomland hardwood environments. An overlook on the property drops 100 feet and gives glimpses of the extent of forests looking southward to the unchannelized portion of the Wolf River and into Mississippi, thanks to the property adjoining a portion of the Wolf River State Natural Area. Several acres of fields with extensive grassland are maintained for wildlife and the visitor experience. Runoff combined with loose aggregates of loess and loam soils on uplands have carved deep ravines in parts of the property allowing for us to examine a groundwater-fed stream and the soil profile including Eocene-age kaolinite clay layers and the sands of ancient fluvial deposits.
Pinecrest also offers exposed aquifer recharge sites (approximately 6.6% of the propertys surface area provides direct recharge to the Memphis Sands aquifer) and 4 groundwater monitoring wells utilized by the University of Memphis CAESAR Department. Remnants of a man-made 1.5 acre lake remain, now a shrinking wetland displaying the effects of succession. Historic trails and homestead remnants at Pinecrest give us a glimpse into the history of Native Americans and early settlers in the Wolf River wetlands and forested uplands of West Tennessee.