Seeking State Board Officers for 2024: Apply Now!

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The SCNPS is seeking officers for the next term (starting in 2024). South Carolina requires a minimum of 3 officers as part of the 501(c)(3) status to meet IRS requirements: President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Two or more offices may be held by the same person.

If you or anyone you know might be interested in serving, please contact current President Katie Ellis at [email protected] for more information.


  •  The State President presides at all meetings of the organization and Board of Directors, and serves as the official spokesperson of the SCNPS. The President represents the organization, its missions, goals and objectives, and projects and programs to the general public. The President serves as an ex-officio member of all state committees and all regional chapters.
  • The State Vice-President assumes the duties of the President in the absence of the President or at the President’s direction, and assists the President in those functions necessary for the leadership and development of the organization. In the event the President is no longer able to serve, the Vice-President shall become the President for the remainder of the term.
  •  The State Secretary shall maintain all official records of the organization as well as minutes of the Board of Directors’ meetings. Actions handled remotely via email discussion and voting must also be recorded. The Secretary or his/her designee shall distribute official minutes of the meetings of the Board of Directors. The Secretary will assure that all minutes and other documents are placed into a permanent archive, the nature of which will be established by Board action.
  • The State Treasurer has the charge and custody of and responsibility for all funds of the organization, and for the administration of such funds. The Treasurer deposits all such monies in the name of the organization as designated by the Board of Directors and maintains accurate records of all receipts and disbursements. Upon approval of the annual budget, the Treasurer is authorized to incur obligations on accounts and expenses provided in the annual budget without further approval of the Board of Director. In addition, the State Treasurer prepares a report for each meeting of the Board of Directors and the Annual Meeting of the Membership. The Treasurer executes and maintains all official correspondence with local, state, and federal entities related to the corporate and tax status of the organization. The Treasurer may be required to furnish a surety bond as determined by the Board of Directors. Candidates for the State Treasurer position should have knowledge of basic accounting procedures, a working knowledge of QuickBooks, and experience with Stripe.

Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve Update: Sign the Petition!

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As a follow-on to our earlier post on the subject, our Grand Strand chapter reminds us that Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve, home to rare and endangered wildlife such as Venus flytraps, red-cockaded woodpeckers, and black bears, remains under threat.

Conway Medical Center is proposing to build a new hospital directly adjacent to the site, limiting the ability of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and SC Forestry Commission to carry out their prescribed burns, essential for the health of the Preserve’s ecosystem.

We encourage readers to visit and sign the petition there. As of this writing, the campaign is only 2,700 signatures short of its 25,000 goal. As the petition puts it, “fire, smoke, and hospitals do not mix!” Let’s make our voices heard!

Photo Credit: Becky Ryon

Lowcountry SCNPS — Fall 2023 Grants Announcement

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The Lowcountry Chapter of the South Carolina Native Plant Society is pleased to announce our fall grants program. If your school, organization, or community group is interested in a project involving native plants, we hope you’ll consider applying! Applications may be submitted by e-mail between August 1st – September 10th. Application details and award amounts can be found in the attached (or linked) document. Have questions? Please reach out to our Grants Coordinator, Matt Johnson, for more information (see e-mail address in document).

Link to document available here: Fall 2023 Grants Announcement


Native Landscapes in the News (July 2023)

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In the last month readers have brought a flurry of recent news articles to our attention, from sources as disparate as the New York Times and the Charleston Post & Courier. With headlines like “Corporate Landscaping Lets Its Hair Down,” “They Fought the Lawn. And the Lawn’s Done,” “In Wisconsin: Stowing Mowers, Pleasing Bees,” and “West Ashley homeowner embraced native planting. Charleston County threatened to fine him,” you can easily guess why these articles caught our readers’ eyes.

While most of these articles are at least partially behind paywalls, we encourage you to access them if you can. But here, for those that can’t, is the main takeaway: Native plantings are gaining traction, both in residential and corporate landscapes. But not without pushback.

Per the NY Times: “Lawns continue to polarize Americans, with traditionalists prizing manicured emerald expanses and environmentalists seeing them as ecological deserts that suck up excessive amounts of water and pesticides. The locus of power in many of these disputes are community or homeowner associations.” (According to one source, HOAs represent a staggering 29% of Americans, or 74 million people nationwide!)

Our own Editor’s advice to help explain to your neighbors what the heck is going on with your native plantings?

  • Tell them this: “One gas-powered leaf blower used for an hour generates the same amount of emissions as a car driving 1,100 miles” (factoid from the NY Times)
  • Post signs around your property that help explain “Why.” (Visit the National Wildlife Federation’s website to get a free certificate you can laminate and post — or splurge and get this nifty metal sign; or, on Etsy, search “native habitat sign” and you’ll find a ton of options for sale at reasonable prices; or make your own!)
  • Play the Pied Piper: Get the kids in your neighborhood involved with your yard. For every child who becomes entranced by a plant, a bird, a bug, or any other wildlife critter, a parent will follow!

Keith Bradley, “Conservation of South Carolina’s Botanical Heritage: A special Flora and its Future”

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South Carolina’s Heritage Preserves, most open to the public for fishing, boating, hiking, etc.

For the Upstate Chapter’s June meeting, State Botanist Keith Bradley presented “Conservation of South Carolina’s Botanical Heritage: A special Flora and its Future,” a talk dedicated to a discussion of the importance of South Carolina’s 77 Heritage Preserves (H.P.), which protect a whopping 111,575 acres statewide.

Where once King Cotton threatened South Carolina’s native landscapes, now King Loblolly is outgrowing and overtaking our Longleaf Pines, which are home to a number of unique species. The Midlands and Lowcountry host other unique plants, such as the May White Azalea. And new plants, such as a sunflower found at the Cartwheel Bay H.P. and a mint found only at the Brasstown Creek H.P. and one other place in Georgia, are still being found.

“We are THE ONLY CUSTODIANS of several species,” Keith told us, “and if we know where the plants are, we can do something about it: We can buy properties, we can do controlled burns, we can implement restorations.”

Watch the entire talk, HERE.

Spring 2023 Lowcountry SCNPS Pre-Orders

Members will be able to pre-order plants between Wednesday, February 22 – Tuesday, February 28. If you are not a current member, you will need to join on or before Tuesday, February 21 or renew membership online at on or before Tuesday, February 21 to participate in this pre-order.

After reviewing the plant list, you can place your order by emailing Eddie Bernard at [email protected]. Write “Spring Native Plant Order” in the subject line, include your full name and phone number in the message and who (if not you) will be picking up your order. Please also include which day you anticipate picking your plants up, either Friday or Saturday. For each plant ordered, please include:

• Common and Botanical Name of plant (variety if applicable)
• Size of pot
• Quantity

There is a minimum of 10 plants and a maximum of 25 plants per order and a maximum of 20 orders taken. You will receive an email confirming the order and stating the total cost by the second week of March. Note: Quantities are not guaranteed. Orders will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis and if we reach a maximum capacity we will stop taking new pre-orders.

You will be able to pickup your pre-ordered plants at the back parking lot at Charles Towne Landing on Friday, March 24 from 12:00pm-1:00pm or Saturday March 25 from 9am to 11am during the sale.

Cash or checks made out to “SC Native Plant Society” will be the only payment methods taken on Friday. Cash, check or credit card will be accepted on Saturday.

If you are not able to pick up your order within these dates and times and make payment by noted methods, please do not place an order! Final cost will be provided with confirmation email for order.

2023 Lowcountry SCNPS Spring Pre-Orders

Apply for a Spring 2023 Lowcountry SCNPS Grant!

The Lowcountry Chapter of the South Carolina Native Plant Society is pleased to offer our Lowcountry Chapter Grant Program. Part of our mission is to promote native plants through planting, outreach, education, and the removal of exotic species. Our Lowcountry Chapter Grants Program gives us the ability to support local projects that align with this mission. There are two separate funding opportunities: one for School Projects and one for Community Projects. If your organization, community group, or school is interested in working with native plants in any capacity, we invite you to consider applying for one of our grants!

Spring applications will be accepted January 1 — February 10, 2023. For application guidelines, please refer to this Lowcountry Chapter Grant Program document. If you have questions, contact Matt Johnson (email address provided in linked document).

Community Grant Overview
Community Projects must be directed at protecting, preserving, restoring, and/or educating the public about native plants or plant communities in the Lowcountry of South Carolina (we are currently only considering projects in Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, and Horry counties). Priority will be given to those projects involving public land, cultural significance, rare species, or the removal of invasive/exotic species. The maximum award amount for Community Grants is $1000.

School Grant Overview
School projects must be directed at educating students about native plants or plant communities in the Lowcountry of South Carolina (we are currently only considering projects in Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester Georgetown, and Horry counties). Priority will be given to those projects involving cultural significance, rare species, or the removal of invasive/exotic species. The maximum award amount for School Grants is $500.

Lowcountry: Looking Ahead to 2023

The Lowcountry Chapter of the SCNPS is excited to announce that we will return to in-person meetings in January! We will be back in our traditional location pre-COVID: the Biology Auditorium in Duckett Hall at The Citadel (2 Jones Ave, Charleston, SC 29409). Mark your calendar for these Tuesdays at 6:30 pm: 1/17, 2/21, 3/21, 4/18 and 5/16. Program speakers and field trips will be announced in the new year.

Congratulations and thanks to our Lowcountry board members for 2023:

President: Samantha Porzelt
Vice President: Austin Trousdale
Lectures: Sharleen Johnson
Field Trips: Amber Von Harten
Plant Sale Chair: Eddie Bernard
Publicity: Laura Moses
Hospitality: Jennifer Bremer
Membership: Caroline Wright
Education and Outreach: Lauren Boyd
Grants Coordinator: Matt Johnson
Representative to State Board: Montana Feix
Board Members at Large: Colette DeGarady & Katie Ellis