Rocky Shoals Spider Lily Site Protected

Rocky Shoals Spider Lily

William Bartram called it Pancratium fluitans, we call it Hymenocallis coronaria, but either way the Rocky Shoals Spider Lily is a large, beautiful and rare lily that inhabits shoals and rapids in piedmont streams.  Agricultural sedimentation and hydropower development of shoals have drastically reduced the occurrence of this spectacular native plant.

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McCormick County Site

In collaboration with the South Carolina Native Plant Society, a site with excellent habitat on 12.8 acres of land and stream bed on Stevens Creek in McCormick County has been purchased by the Naturaland Trust. The stream arises and flows through a largely undeveloped, forested watershed, so the water quality in the stream is good.  Several native fish species and a diverse community of aquatic insects, as well as some native mussel species are found in the stream.  The lilies site comprises approximately 150 yards of shoals and rapids in the Creek.

The land contains mature pine timber as well as diverse mixed hardwoods.  There is a turn-of-the-century grist mill with hydro-power structure and drive train largely intact but non-functional, and 200 yards of mill race canal. Just upstream from the property is an intact impoundment structure and gating for control of water flow to the mill.  There is electricity and water on-site, as well as a toilet facility (attached to the mill building).

Immediate Need

Although funds are available for the land purchase, additional funds are needed for closing costs and a conservation easement that will ensure the site is protected forever.

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Other Costs and Site Improvements

There are improvements to the site that will be needed once the property is acquired. The SCNPS will be the primary manager of the property. Vegetation management will be minimal, probably limited to removing a few trees not native to the site, and a preliminary reduction of invasive species using manual control measures.  Occasional controlled burns may be implemented if a workable and safe fire plan can be developed.

The mill needs a new roof to protect the structural integrity of the building.  A bridge across the millrace canal will need to be replaced and upgraded.  A metal grill will need to be installed over the open mill penstock, for the safety of visitors.  We are contemplating building an open-sided pavilion to house meetings, workshops, etc.

If you would like to contribute to this important project, please fill out the donation form below. After submitting your information, you will be redirected to PayPal to securely process your transaction. Thank you!


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Upstate: Nominations for Board of Directors

The Nominating Committee of the Upstate Chapter of SC NPS has proposed the following slate of Board members, whose term of office would begin on January 1, 2017:

President           Dan Whitten
Vice President   Virginia Meador
Secretary            Susan Lochridge
Treasurer            Jim Corey

According to the Upstate Chapter Bylaws, nominations may be submitted from the general membership through October 31, 2016.  If no other nominations are received from the general membership, the slate of officers presented by the nominating committee will be declared elected on November 1, 2017.  Nominations may be submitted to [email protected] or 864-578-7807.

Nominating Committee:
Bill Sharpton, Chairman
Steve Holding
Cheryl Holding
Ron Crowley

 

Lowcountry Chapter to fund community projects again!

The Lowcountry Chapter will once again offer two $500 grants for community projects that promote public education about native plants, or the protection, preservation or restoration of native plant communities.  The funding criteria can be found here:

Please note that the deadline for the Fall 2016 application is October 1.

Upstate Home & Garden Show

The Upstate Chapter participated in the Southern Home & Garden Show in Greenville March 4-6.  Steve Marlow worked his usual magic in pulling together a great booth filled with information sheets and a lovely selection of native plants provided by Carolina Wild (Anderson, SC).  SC NPS provided 26 volunteers for a total of 23 hours of Show time, and the volunteers collected 44 names of folks interested in native plants.  The new “Wild Plants on the Rabbit” brochure was especially popular with booth visitors.

Steve Marlow, Rick Huffman, Dan Whitten (Upstate Chapter President)

Steve Marlow, Rick Huffman, Dan Whitten (Upstate Chapter President)

Bill Stringer, Bill Sharpton

Bill Stringer, Bill Sharpton

Jo Anne Connor, Dan Whitten, Guests

Jo Anne Connor, Dan Whitten, Guests

 

A guide to the plants on the Swamp Rabbit Trail

SRT_frontcover_150The South Carolina Native Plant Society
is excited to announce Wild Plants on the Rabbit,
a new, pocket-sized brochure
about the native and naturalized plants
growing along the Swamp Rabbit Trail.

The Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail runs nearly 20 miles, from above the town of Travelers Rest into the heart of Greenville, until terminating in Lake Conestee Nature Park. For much of its length following the Reedy River or the route of an old railroad, the Trail is widely praised — both for its role in encouraging healthful exercise and for the economic boon it’s been to the community.

Other, less obvious, benefits are its value as a wildlife corridor and as an outdoor classroom. The Trail adjoins woodlands and wetlands, gardens and gullies, and it is a convenient place for people to get up close and personal with plants that are not in a garden, home landscape, or park, and that are more than just a blur seen out the car window.

Sharp eyes may spot Trillium, Bloodroot, Cardinal Flower, Swamp Milkweed, Downy Lobelia, a handful of Sunflowers species, or even the small white flowers of the rare, federally protected Bunched Arrowhead. Over 100 different plant species are featured in the brochure, with a photograph and a short description, and a map of the Trail is included for reference. Trail users are encouraged to use the brochure as a checklist, checking off plants as they spot them.

A common misconception is that if a plant is growing “wild” it must be native to this area, but many of the plants encountered on the Trail were brought here from other continents, either intentionally or by accident. Many exotic plants have established themselves along the Trail, disrupting naturally occurring native plant communities.

The brochure provides links to a more complete plant inventory. SCNPS members have currently documented almost 400 species growing wild on the Trail, and the list is far from complete. If Trail users see a plant on the Trail that they cannot find in the brochure or in this list, the Society’s website offers a service where they can submit their own photos for identification.

Wild Plants on the Rabbit brochures are free and available at Upstate Chapter events (including the April 16th Native Plant Sale at Conestee Park!) and at other outlets listed here.

 

We value our sponsors
who help make projects like this possible!

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Upstate Plant Rescue and Planting

Twin Chimneys 2016-01-30

Bill Sharpton led a group of 13 energetic volunteers in rescuing Christmas ferns (Polystichum acrostichoides) from a soon-to-be covered site at Twin Chimneys Landfill in southern Greenville County on Saturday, January 30, 2016.

After lunch at a nearby restaurant, the group headed to a section of the Swamp Rabbit Trail near the Greenville Zoo to plant the rescued ferns. The weather cooperated (high in the low 60’s), and lots of families were visiting the zoo to take advantage of a beautiful winter day in Upstate South Carolina.

This particular section of the Swamp Rabbit Trail is in Cleveland Park and has been a special project for the Upstate Chapter since 2013, when SCNPS member Bette Thern noticed some interesting wildflowers there. Little Sweet Betsy (Trillium cuneatum), Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) and Bellwort (Uvularia perfoliata) were growing in prime position right beside the trail, but nearly smothered by a heavy blanket of English Ivy and other invasives. Several Silverbell trees (Halesia tetraptera) decorated the lower canopy.

The site was shown to Scott Drayton of City of Greenville Parks and Recreation. Scott committed Greenville P&R to remove the invasives and underbrush if SCNPS members would mark the wildflowers and Silverbell saplings. SCNPS continues to monitor the site and man occasional workdays.

To visit, park in the lower Zoo parking lot, walk past the Vietnam Memorial and cross the river at the double bridges. The site is located at the end and slightly to the right of the crossing just across the asphalt walking path.