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SCNPS 2023 Annual Meeting

November 4, 2023 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm


South Carolina Native Plant Society Annual Meeting and Symposium

Saturday, November 4, 2023
9 am – 4:30 pm

Saluda Shoals Park, The Environmental Center at Saluda Shoals
5605 Bush River Road, Columbia, SC 29212 (Map)

Register here. Tickets $30

This in-person event will bring together plant enthusiasts, botanists, and nature lovers from all our chapters. Visitors are always welcome.

For travelers, find a list of hotels and local activities below.

Agenda (See detailed agenda below)

  • Begin the day with a guided nature walk highlighting native plants in this fabulous Midlands park.
  • Annual business meeting. Elections will be held, and updated bylaws will be presented for an approval vote.
    Find the list of candidates for the State Board here.
    Read the proposed bylaws here.
  • Lunch with friends from around the state
  • Presentation by Dr. Charles Horn on his recent botanical research
  • Keynote presentation with a panel of individuals responsible for preserving the land that became Congaree National Park, and those who are key to expanding the protected area surrounding the park boundaries.

Saturday Field Trips Following the Meeting (See detailed descriptions below)

  • Guided walk to see the natural wetland plants at Saluda Shoals Park
  • Saluda Riverwalk: Powerline Demonstration Garden and Nature Walk:
    Hear about our surprising collaboration with Dominion Energy to re-imagine their list of plants suitable for planting under power lines: now all native! The Midlands Chapter received a grant to create a garden to demonstrate how homeowners can use the list to create wildlife-friendly habitats. After a brief discussion at the garden, Midlands Master Naturalist, Midlands Chapter Board Member, and former City of Columbia park ranger, Bailey Parker, will lead a nature walk along the river. Meet at the Saluda Riverwalk, 650 Candi Lane, Columbia, SC

As the sun goes down, we’ll all meet up at a local watering hole.

Sunday Field Trips
Begin at 10:00 a.m.

Visit state and national record trees in Congaree with John Cely
John Cely, wildlife biologist and author of several books on the Congaree National Park and Cowasee Basin, will guide a walk to state and national record trees in Congaree, South Carolina’s only National Park. The hike will last 2-3 hours and cover about 4 miles. Dress accordingly and bring water and snacks. Meet at the Harry Hampton Visitors Center, 100 National Park Rd. Hopkins, SC.

“Bird’s eye view” of the Park from Congaree Bluffs
Clay Parker, President of Columbia Audubon, and Kathy Boyle, retired DNR biologist and local expert, will lead a 1.5 mile ramble on the recently-protected Arant Tract in Fort Motte, SC. This property was placed in a conservation easement and acquired by the National Audubon Society in July 2023. It is home to some of the most stunning views of the Congaree floodplain. The 150 foot sheer cliffs on the southern bank of the Congaree River make for unique habitat. Plants that are rare in the Midlands seem to thrive here due to the microclimate created by the cliffs. Things like Comandra umbellata, Campanula divaricata, and Rhododendron eastmanii have been observed on or near the cliffside. While it might be too late in the year to see all of these species in their full glory, this walk will give you a chance to see why this place is special for plants and animals. The trail difficulty rating is moderate (logging roads with elevation changes) and the total time will be about 2-3 hours depending on how briskly the group wants to move. Don’t miss this opportunity to visit this conservation tract that is typically not open to the public!

All field trips are free with registration. Sign up as you register for the symposium and check at the registration table for maps and other important information.

You can read here about the 20-year project to catalog Saluda Shoals Park plant species, now a Special Collection on wildflower.org at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, UT-Austin.


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November 4, 2023
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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