Check out these video recordings !

January 2021 Upstate Chapter General Meeting

‘The Southeastern Grasslands Initiative’

with Dr. Dwayne Estes

Dr. Estes provided an extremely informative and interesting introduction to the new SGI program which he chairs. In this video, Estes presents a compelling slide presentation where he explains the historical significance of our grasslands heritage, the hows and whys of the habitat loss over the past 300 years, and what the SGI is doing and planning to do about it.

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December 2020 Boones Creek Preservation Area

Photo by Steve Marlow

Submitted by Frank Holleman

President, Naturaland Trust

I once heard Patrick McMillan tell the tale of how the threatened Oconee Bells’ (Shortia glacifolia) got their name; a tale that stretches over a century and involves botanical legends from both America and Europe.  It began with French botanist Andre Michaux’s 1788 expedition through the mid-Atlantic and an unidentified specimen he took back to his Paris herbarium.  There it lay for half a century to be re-discovered by visiting botanist Asa Gray who took an interest in the unique plant and then spent another 25 years unsuccessfully seeking it in its natural habitat. But it wasn’t until Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum director Charles Sprague Sargent undertakes the search that it was found in its namesake Oconee County in 1888.

The saga continued with the creation of Lake Jocassee in 1973 which might well have spelled the end for this plant were it not for the determined efforts of people like Cyd Phillips and organizations like Naturaland Trust and others too many now to name.   This inspirational story now is as unique as the plant; a tale of the great scientists working hand-in-glove with citizen scientists to change the course of fate.

Cyd Phillips speaks of latest chapter of this century’s old tale with the creation of the Boone’s Creek Preserve .  For those of you that haven’t yet made the springtime pilgrimage to Lake Jocassee to witness this ephemeral in bloom, you’ll find the cinematography in this Naturaland Trust video compelling.  And for those of you that have, it’ll take you back…

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November 2020 Upstate General Meeting:

‘Fire in the South Carolina Mountains, Past, Present and Future’

with Helen Mohr, M.S.

Helen Mohr, M.S., and she will present, . She is a Forester with the U.S. Forest Service, Southern Research Station at Clemson, and the Director of the Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists. Helen and her student-led fire crew were recently featured in Clemson World in the article “Fire Tiger”. She has many years of experience working with fire as a firefighter, researcher, communicator and mentor.

She just returned from a 3-week stint fighting fires out in Colorado while spending nights in a tent! Here in South Carolina, she is an expert on using fire to benefit forests with controlled burns. During her talk, Helen will discuss fire ecology with an overview of prescribed fire in the SC mountains.

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October 2020 Statewide General Meeting:

‘Rediscovering the Cultural and Natural Landscape of the Lowcountry

in the Footsteps of Our Ancestors’

with Dr. Richard Porcher

Celebrate Native Plant Week 2020 with a state-wide SCNPS virtual meeting! In place of an in-person meeting, we will be streaming live on Facebook and Zoom. SCNPS President Katie Ellis introduces Dr. Richard Porcher who will discuss Lowcountry’s natural landscape and interaction with man since the first European settlement in 1670. Swamps that were cleared to grow rice are now freshwater marshes (see the Cooper River); inland swamps that were dammed to create rice reservoirs harbor today some of the best habitat for wading birds; vast acreage of forests today are secondary forests that reclaimed fields that were abandoned; Native American shell rings, mounds and middens led to a unique plant community that developed on the shell deposits; and many Carolina bays harbor a totally different community than at settlement time. Throughout the natural Lowcountry are abandoned cultural sites that tell us where we came from as a society. Dr. Porcher’s will elucidate this anthropocentric landscape through photographs and commentary.

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September 2020 Upstate General Meeting:

‘Memorial Ecosystems’

with Dr. Billy Campbell

Imagine a combination cemetery/nature preserve filled with wildflowers, threaded with streams, interjected with forest.  Where no toxic embalming fluids or metal vaults are permitted, and coffins are made of biodegradable wood or reinforced cardboard.  Bodies are not embalmed, so they  decompose quickly, surrendering their nourishment to the earth.  If this sounds like a time lost to the ages, you’ll want to hear this lecture by Dr. Billy Campbell aboput the the 78 acre preserve at Memorial Ecosystem at Ramsey Creek — the first green cemetery in the country — and the rich flora associated with it.

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July 2020 Upstate General Meeting:

‘Native Ferns – Fun Facts and ID Basics’

with Rosemary Knoll

At the July 21st meeting of the Upstate Chapter, Rosemarie Knoll shared some fun and interesting facts about our native ferns and fern allies and discussed the basics of fern identification. Rosemary is the author of 2 local wildflower books: the first about wildflowers in DuPont State Forest and the second on wildflowers along the Blue Ridge Parkway and in Pisgah National Forest.

Her Zoom presentation was recorded and can be viewed below (the presentation started a couple minutes before the recording!).

     Watch the video