The 2023 Upstate SCNPS Spring Sale Call for Volunteers


Here’s the skinny: The in-person plant sale is back, but with a hybrid twist. The General Sale (details below) will take place on Saturday, April 15, but MEMBERS & VOLUNTEERS will have the opportunity to purchase plants in advance (online-only), on Saturday and Sunday, April 8 & 9.

It takes a whole host of enthusiastic volunteers to put on a great plant sale. In the immortal words of longtime SCNPS member and mainstay Judy Seeley, “If everyone does a little, no one does too much!”

And, no worries: You don’t have to be an expert, just ready and willing to help. It takes a village to make magic. Read on for all the details!

UPDATE as of March 29th:

Some of the areas where we still need the most help are:

    • Equipment Transport (vehicles and people)
    • Day-of-Sale Set-Up
    • Traffic Direction/Management
    • Front Entrance Staffing
    • Checkout (Invoicers, Cashiers, Receipt Checkers)
    • Holding/Loading
    • Day-of-Sale Breakdown


Pre-Sale: Saturday, April 1, 10-1 – FILLED
Pre-Sale: Monday and Tuesday, April 10 & 11, 9-4
Sale Setup: Friday, April 14, 2023, 8 am – 4 pm – FILLED
Sale: Saturday, April 15, 8:00 am – 1 pm
Breakdown: Saturday, April 15, 1 pm – 4 pm

Pre-Sale Orders: Saturday-Sunday, April 8 & 9 (Members & Volunteers) (Online ONLY)
Pickup at the Upstate Native Nursery (UNN), 180 Lakewood Dr., Mauldin, SC 29667, by Wednesday, April 12 

General SaleSaturday, April 15, 2023
Conestee Park, 840 Mauldin Road, Greenville, SC 29607. Gates Open 9 O’Clock! Gates Close 1 pm!

Just a few of the areas of expertise (or willingness to learn) that we’re seeking include:


  • Got an in at a local paper or online newsletter? How about an Upstate-oriented podcast or radio program? Or, willing to distribute flyers to local businesses all over the Upstate? We can use your help!

Volunteer Recruitment

  • Please help us spread the word that we need volunteers.  College students would be great helpers in the holding and loading areas!


  • Have you got a strong back? Or a pickup truck? Or, even better, both? We need you! There’s a lot of physical labor involved in throwing this party. Tables and barricades need to be pulled out of storage, transported to the sale site and set up (and the reverse once the sale is over). The plants have to be moved from the SCNPS greenhouse and gardens to Conestee, and back again. (Not that there will be a single one left, of course!)
  • Not really feeling the machismo? That’s okay, we need you, too! We’ll be marking chalk lines, laying out row markers, and setting up the cashier stations. And, during the sale, we’ll need folks staffing the holding and pickup areas, manning the cash registers, monitoring/directing the flow of traffic into and out of the sale, and helping to keep the arteries clear.
  • Can’t be there for the whole day? We also need volunteers to help take inventory of the plants, both before the sale and after.

And It Wouldn’t be a Party…

  • …without refreshments! Do you bake, cater, or know someone who does? We need to keep our volunteers fed, caffeinated, hydrated, and happy!

Have we Mentioned the PERK?

  • Volunteers and members get first crack at the plants, during the presale, Saturday & Sunday, April 8th and 9th (online only). There’s a limit on what you can buy (because otherwise, we’d get wiped out before we opened!), but if you’ve got your heart set on a few special somethings, sign up today and be first in line!
For details about all the positions we need filled, click HERE.
Or, to dive right in and tell us how you can help, click HERE!

As much as we love our furry friends, only identified service dogs will be allowed inside the sale area. There is a dog park next to the upper parking lot where supervised dogs can play!



May’s Upstate Chapter Meeting: Three Lifetimes of Experience Exploring and Conserving South Carolina’s Flora

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Photo Credit: Patrick McMillan


Tri-County Tech had to move us to a different location on campus because of construction.

Instead of meeting at the Auditorium, we will be meeting at the Anderson Hall Event Center

Link to Google Maps is HERE:

At our May meeting (in-person at Tri-County, and via Zoom), Dr. Patrick McMillan will present “Three Lifetimes of Experience Exploring and Conserving South Carolina’s Flora,” highlighting some of our state’s most significant rare plants. Dr. McMillan, along with Richard Porcher, Jr. and Douglas Rayner, is the author of the new edition of A Guide to the Wildflowers of South Carolina, a must-have for all native plant lovers.

READ MORE HERE or to add the event to your calendar and get the Zoom link if you are unable to attend in person.

Zoom Link is HERE.

Patrick will be selling and signing his book at the event.  Sales will be limited to cash or check.

Annual Open House Announcement for the Parks Mill Rocky Shoals Spiderlily Preserve

Spider Lily Dates are set for the annual Open House at Parks Mill Rocky Shoals Spiderlily Preserve during peak season again.  We will be hosting guided visits on Saturday, May 20 and Saturday May 27 this year.

About the Site:

In July of 2016, the South Carolina Native Plant Society (SCNPS), Naturaland Trust (NT), and Upper Savannah Land Trust (USLT) collaborated to protect a creek full of rocky shoals spiderlilies and a historic gristmill on 13 acres of land and creek-bed on Stevens Creek near Plum Branch, SC.  The Site is owned by NT, the Site and resources are managed by the SCNPS, and USLT holds the conservation easement that legally protects the Site from future development.Grist Mill

This site boasts a wonderful population of the rare native Rocky Shoals Spiderlily (Hymenocallis coronaria), as well as a reasonably well preserved, (restoration in-progress) late 19th-century water-powered grist mill structure.

Since 2016, we have been hosting public open house events during the expected peak Lily flowering period.  At these events the public is invited to come see the beautiful lily population in the Creek, as well as the gristmill complex.  Guides will be available to tour the site and field questions.

To Register:

This year the dates will be Saturday, May 20, and Saturday, May 27. On both dates the site will be open from 10:00 till 12:00 and again from 1:00 till 3:00 pm. The blooming is pretty uniform, so opting for either the morning or afternoon on either Saturday shouldn’t make a difference in the quality of the show. We do ask that you select a morning or afternoon visit time so we can anticipate potential crowding problems.

2023 Parks Mill/Stevens Creek Open House

Reservation form
  • Please enter a number from 1 to 4.
  • Enter the names and email addresses of everyone in your party.


There is a sizeable front porch on the Mill building with seating in case of rain. The site has good tree cover, so temperatures should be reasonably comfortable. Just remember that this is a site set aside to protect and preserve a magnificent native wildflower community and a wonderfully historic grist mill. Tread lightly, stay on trails and “pack-it-in-pack-it-out.”   Wading in the Creek is prohibited for the sake of personal safety, and for the protection of the Lilies. There is a trail from the Mill house to the Creekside to get good lily photo opportunities. However due to frequent high-water flows in the area adjacent to the Creek, exposed rocks and roots can make the footing very treacherous, so children and seniors must be extremely careful. (There is a project in the works to get a trail installed that will offer Creek views with much safer footing — stay tuned!)

We also strongly suggest that everyone wear long pants cuffed inside sturdy socks to ward off ticks.


To find the site, look for SC Highway 283 just east of Plum Branch in McCormick County. The site is on Stevens Creek, just downstream from the SC 283 Bridge over the Creek. The site entrance is directly across Hwy 283 from William Self Road and will be clearly highlighted by signage. Parking is along William Self Road. If anyone in your party is mobility-challenged, you may drive to the site, drop them off, and return to find parking along William Self Road.


All visitors will be required to sign a waiver form that holds The South Carolina Native Plant Society, Naturaland Trust, and Upper Savannah Land Trust all blameless in case of injury during these events.  

Native Plant Garden Volunteer Opportunity: Pickens County Museum

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False Blue Indigo, Baptesia australis


The Pickens County Museum Native Plant Garden is a hidden gem in downtown Pickens — and now that Spring has finally sprung, the garden is blooming! 

Volunteers are needed to tend the garden in the mornings on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month. Join the team, learn the native plants in all seasons, enjoy the company of native plant lovers from NPS, Master Gardeners, and Master Naturalists, and make the garden flourish!

Contact Carol Asalon for details or to volunteer.

Volunteer Opportunity: Join the FoRR’s Green Team at the BMW Charity Pro-Am Golf Tournament!

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Over the past 2 decades, the BMW Charity Pro-Am Golf Tournament (BMWCPA) has generated millions of dollars for Upstate charities. The tournament is also committed to a 100% carbon neutral experience, with all waste being recycled, reused, or repurposed rather than going to a landfill. The FoRR supported this sustainability commitment in 2021 and 2022, and has now been asked to organize and lead sustainability support volunteers for 2023!

They will need to fill approximately 200 Green Team volunteer shifts during the week-long event. Most shifts will be approximately four hours long, and primarily located at either Thornblade Club in Greer or Carolina Country Club in Spartanburg. Volunteers can pick as many or as few shifts as they like (each volunteer shift earns $50 for FoRR, or for the designated, registered charity of the volunteer’s choice!), and will receive a Green Team t-shirt and a set of credentials allowing them on the tournament venues! 

There are two basic duties for Green Team members: 

1) Course Sweep: Using golf carts, Course Sweep volunteers (in pairs) will circulate to collect trash and recyclables from the front and back 9 holes and from informational venues along the golf course. After each sweep of 9 holes, they will deliver trash and recyclables to a central collection point. During each shift, the Course Sweep team will make at least 3 circuits of the 9-hole route they’ve been assigned.

2) Skybox Assist and Skybox Sweep: This role will take place in the hospitality suites (Skyboxes), and these volunteers will ensure folks who are consuming food and drink place their trash in the correct receptacles. 

*Because there is alcohol served on the premises, all volunteers must be 18 or older!

There are a few volunteer shifts at separate locations that will also involve 1) delivering trash and recyclables to a central collection point and 2) ensuring that trash ends up in the correct receptacles: 

  • Tuesday, June 6 from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm at the VIP area of Delaney’s Irish Pub of Spartanburg for an evening with the Diamond Rio band
  • Thursday, June 8 from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm at 3’s Golf of Greenville
  • Friday, June 9 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at Bon Secours Arena for the Sustainability Summit
  • Friday, June 9 from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm at Bon Secours Arena for the Celebration

Click this link to learn more and/or to sign up for this FoRR/BMW event.

SCNPS, the Boy Scouts of America, and Lowes Team Up!

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Boy-Scouts-Troop 776-Bells-Crossing
Photo Credit: Doug Lockard

Submitted by Doug Lockard, Sustainability Correspondent

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Troop 776, Lowes #528 (Simpsonville), and the SCNPS partnered this Spring to provide a much-needed renovation of the Bells Crossing Elementary School courtyard landscape. This remarkable project was proposed and directed by high school junior Daniel Turner as his BSA Eagle Scout project. 

Daniel (in the red cap above) reached out to the SCNPS in Dec ’22 for assistance. The project aligned well with the SCNPS mission and was approved by the Upstate Chapter Board to be funded under its Community Grants Program. The SCNPS assisted Daniel with the site analysis, design, and plant recommendations, and provided more than 30 native plants including sedges, ferns, hydrangeas, and fothergillas, all ideally suited for the site. Lowes Store #528 provided azaleas and hydrangeas as well as a team of volunteers who augmented the more than two dozen energetic Scouts (pictured in the photo above) on planting day. 

The Endangered Species Act Turns 50

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Submitted by Sustainability Correspondent Doug Lockard

No law has done more to save wildlife from extinction than the Endangered Species Act, which has its 50th anniversary this year. But due to decades of underfunding and political attacks backed by vested interests, species are slipping through the cracks.

The Center for Biological Diversity is calling on President Biden to mark the anniversary of the Act by using his power to mobilize extinction-prevention teams to protect these imperiled species groups. The strike teams would bring together top scientists and government officials to create plans to recover the various species. And, crucially, such an intervention would include the money needed to make it happen. 

Without rapid, targeted action, in our lifetime we may witness the disappearance of some of the most critically endangered groups of species in the United States: desert fish in the Southwest, freshwater mussels in the Southeast, and imperiled butterflies from coast to coast. The CBD is also urging Biden to restore funding for similar efforts in Hawai‘i, where extinction is a terrifying reality for too many birds, plants and insects. (For a list of endangered species right here in South Carolina, see HERE.)

To learn more, and to take action, visit the CBD’s website.

SELC filing on the Dwarf-Flowered Heartleaf

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Last month we reported on the appeal the Southern Environmental Law Center has filed on behalf of the SCNPS with regard to the the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s precipitous and ill-advised delisting of the rare Dwarf-Flowered Heartleaf.

Over the last several weeks, the SELC has been busy on our behalf, filing FOIA requests and scanning documents received in response.

Those documents (redacted though they are) have prompted additional questions and comments. Click HERE to read the latest communiqué the SELC has sent to USFWS.

Support EPA’s Proposal to Regulate PFAS in Drinking Water — DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MAY 15, 2023

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PFAS contamination of drinking water is widespread in South Carolina, and poses health risks for millions of people. On March 29, 2023 EPA published a proposal that would establish the first national drinking water standards for six PFAS under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

As a follow-up to last month’s post on the subject, we encourage all our readers to sign on to the effort to curtail the quantity of PFAS in our water. Use this handy form to send an email showing your support.

A demonstration of widespread support for EPA’s proposal is crucial for its success. We anticipate industry will attempt to delay or weaken EPA’s drinking water standards.

These partners of the SCNPS invite you to join in support of EPA’s proposal:

Upstate Spring Plant Sale Recap

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Thank You, One and All

The Spring Sale (held on April 15) was a rousing success. Between that day and the Members-and-Volunteers Pre-Sale (April 8-9), we sold something approaching 95% of our plants! The Upstate Native Nursery is looking a little bare at the moment, but never fear, we’re already at work planning and propagating for the Fall Sale! We’ll have more details about the Spring Sale, including a photo montage, in the next newsletter (once we’ve recovered a bit from being victims of our own success!), but we couldn’t let too much time go by without saying a HUGE THANK YOU to our Volunteers, Members, and Customers.

We HEART you!!!

June Upstate Chapter Monthly Meeting: Keith A. Bradley

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Save the Date

Keith A. Bradley

Join us in Greenville (or via Zoom) to meet Keith A. Bradley, whose expertise lies in the flora of the southeast and the Caribbean. He has been active in the regional conservation community for more than 20 years, working on a broad array of biological conservation research, land management, and planning issues. His work on the recovery of endangered species and their habitats has led to two awards from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the “Regional Leader in Recovery” Award in 2008 and the “Coastal Program Conservation Partnership” Award in 2010. 

CLICK HERE for Zoom link and to add this meeting to your calendar.