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Lowcountry Field Trip + Lecture: Saving Gadsden Creek

October 17, 2023 @ 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Tuesday, October 17: Saving Gadsden Creek: A Field Trip & Lecture
Rebecca Fanning (Friends of Gadsden Creek, Community Hydrology, SC Adopt a Stream) & Mikayla Mangle (Friends of Gadsden Creek, Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation)

We have a special two-for-one program this month with a combined field trip and lecture all in one evening! The field trip will start promptly at 5:30pm at the parking area near Duckett Hall followed by a short walk back to Duckett Hall for the lecture. Plan to attend one or both but we are asking everyone planning to attend the field trip to register – see below.

Field Trip – 5:30pm
Saving Gadsden Creek: a tour of a flourishing saltwater ecosystem that faces burial by concrete
As a SC Adopt a Stream volunteer and friend of the Friends of Gadsden Creek, Rebecca Fanning has spent years monitoring water quality and exploring the banks of one of the peninsula’s last remaining tidal creeks. Hemmed in by development and under threat of permanent displacement by plans to have it piped underground, this flourishing saltwater marsh habitat is home to more than the usual suspects: in between Wax Myrtle and Black Cherry, a wild Walter’s Viburnum blooms; Glass Lizards linger in the Sea Oxeye; Marsh Wrens make their nests in Marsh Elder; and unidentified crabs lurk along oyster beds. Rebecca will discuss the ecology of the creek and point out landmarks that will be important for the lecture to follow, including city infrastructure, habitat impacts, historic features, and more.
REGISTRATION REQUIRED: To register, please email Amber Von Harten at lowcountry.fieldtrips@scnps.org and provide a phone number where you can be reached on the day of the trip.
Meeting location for field trip: Registered participants should park and meet at the free parking areas near The Citadel’s Duckett Hall Biology Auditorium, 2 Jones Ave, Charleston, SC 29403 (see map above). Free parking is available after 5:00 PM in the parking lot south of Richardson Street, accessible from Mims Ave.

Lecture – 6:30pm (Duckett Hall, The Citadel)
Saving Gadsden Creek: a history of environmental racism and what Friends of Gadsden Creek is doing to reverse the trend
Join us to learn from Mikayla about the work of Friends of Gadsden Creek and what community-based conservation and restoration can do. In her work for the Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation, lawyer and community organizer Mikayla Mangle helps underserved communities build generational wealth through land and property ownership. For the last year, she has joined forces with the Friends of Gadsden Creek, a grassroots, community-led campaign opposing the destruction of Gadsden Creek, and the continued patterns of environmental racism inflicted upon Gadsden Green, the adjacent predominantly-Black, formerly racially-segregated public housing community. In this lecture, she will share the history of how the creek and its associated tidal salt marsh has transformed over time and how those changes have affected the surrounding plants, animals, and critically, the Gadsden Green community. Since developer-mayor Riley first envisioned the ‘Horizon District’ on the west side of the peninsula, developers have continued to try to fill the creek and build on top of it. South Carolina Environmental Law Project is representing the interests of FOGC to defend this vital habitat from developers and restore its environmental integrity.

Additional Information:
This 1.5-mile walking tour of Gadsden Creek will take place at 5:30pm just before our lecture. We will gather in the parking lot and make the short walk to where Gadsden Creek emerges from underground at the intersection of Fishburne and Hagood. We will end the tour where Gadsden Creek meets the Ashley River at the south end of Brittlebank Park and, time permitting, Rebecca will demonstrate some basic water quality tests and indicators. From there we will return to Duckett Hall for the lecture at 6:30pm. We will walk along sidewalks and the edges of parking lots, so mud boots are not necessary, but plan to wear comfortable walking shoes and sun protection.

If you use the web-based application iNaturalist, observations are encouraged! All photos taken along the boundaries of Gadsden Creek are automatically uploaded to its Project Page, accessible at this link: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/gadsden-creek

The lecture will take place in The Citadel’s Duckett Hall Biology Auditorium, 2 Jones Ave, Charleston, SC 29403. Free parking is available after 5:00 PM in the parking lot south of Richardson Street, accessible from Mims Ave. Enter Duckett Hall from Jones Ave and take your first left from the stairwell into the Biology Auditorium.


October 17, 2023
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category: