Lowcountry Spring 2024 Newsletter

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Hello SCNPS Lowcountry Chapter members!

The Lowcountry Chapter has a great spring schedule to provide our members many fun and educational native plant learning opportunities. Our lecture location remains on the campus of The Citadel but has shifted next door to Byrd Hall auditorium. The chapter will provide light refreshments after each lecture, and attendees may bring their beverage of choice. See details about upcoming lectures and field trips in this newsletter.

At each chapter lecture, and at other events, we will be selling SCNPS shirts, seed packets, and stickers. These items are not yet available for online ordering, so be sure to join us at the lectures and other events to purchase SCNPS goodies. Both of the shirt designs were created by our talented Education & Outreach Chair, Lauren Boyd.

The seed packets are a blend of native species including splitbeard bluestem (Andropogon ternarius), blazing star (Liatris), blanket flower (Gaillardia), tickseed (Coreopsis), spotted beebalm (Monarda punctata), and rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium). These packets can be sown in a sunny, well drained area of your garden. They are easy-to-grow species and will support a plethora of wildlife. Proceeds from our merchandise sales go towards funding the SCNPS Lowcountry Chapter School and Community Grant Program. Spring grant applications are now open through February 10th. For more information on the grant program, visit this link or contact Matt Johnson at lowcountry.grants@scnps.org.

Samantha Porzelt

SCNPS Lowcountry Chapter President

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Spring 2024 Lowcountry SCNPS Grant Announcement

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The Lowcountry Chapter of the South Carolina Native Plant Society (SCNPS) 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 invasive, exotic species. Our Lowcountry Chapter Grants Program gives us the ability to support local projects that align with this mission. 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! Please read below for details about this funding opportunity, as well as application details and due dates.

The full grant announcement is available online here: https://scnps.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/LowcountrySCNPS_GrantAnnouncement_2024.pdf

Lowcountry: Nov 28 Lecture + Dec 12 Holiday Party

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(Note: The Nov 18 field trip with Richard Porcher has been postponed. There will be no field trip in November.)

Tuesday, November 28, 2023 6:30 pm
Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve: Attributes and Management Challenges
Trapper Fowler, North Coast Project Manager, Coastal Conservation League

NOTE: Meeting location for this lecture will be at Byrd Hall on The Citadel campus, directly south of our usual lecture location (Duckett Hall), at 1 Jones Avenue, Charleston, SC 29403. Free parking is available after 5:00 PM in the parking lot south of Richardson Street, accessible from Mims Ave.  Please join us for refreshments after the lecture.

Former Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve manager Trapper Fowler will discuss what makes this site South Carolina’s most biologically diverse heritage preserve, how fire historically and currently plays a role in maintaining the habitat, and why this specific location is such a challenge to burn today. We will discuss how the Coastal Conservation League has identified this preserve’s protection from external threats as a major priority for their work and what is being done to ensure that this treasure is sustained.

Lowcountry Holiday Party!
Tuesday, December 12, 2023 5:30-7:30 pm
Tradesman Brewing Company, 1647 King St Ext, Charleston, SC 29405

Join us this December for our annual holiday party at Tradesman Brewing Company in Charleston to toast another great year for our society! Drop by any time between 5:30 and 7:30 pm for some fun and festive outdoor fellowship. Our chapter will provide hors d’oeuvres to snack on and there will be drinks for purchase (alcoholic and non-alcoholic). Tradesman is a family-friendly brewery, so feel free to bring your crew!

Lowcountry SCNPS Native Plant Market = This Saturday (10/14)!

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The Charleston-area SCNPS native plant sale will be taking place this Saturday (10/14), and the plant list was just released!

Fall Native Plant Market
SC Native Plant Society, Lowcountry Chapter
Saturday, October 14, 2023
9:30 am – 12:30 pm

R. L. Jones Center, 391 Egypt Road, Mount Pleasant, SC


Plant List:

The fall sale will be farmer’s-market-style with these vendors offering a variety of natives:
Bottle Tree Gardening
Flying Fig Farm
Holy City Plants
Hunter Flytraps
Let It Grow
Milkweed Madness
Native Plants to the People
Roots and Shoots Nursery

Each vendor will handle their own check-out process (cash, check, or credit card) and shoppers should bring their own box, cart, or wagon to carry plants. SC Native Plant Society volunteers will be on hand to help guide shoppers and assist vendors.

Parking for the event will be available behind the Jones Center as well as between the Jones Center and Belle Hall Elementary School and in front of Belle Hall Elementary School. See map for detailed information.

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 president@scnps.org 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 Change.org 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.