Upstate/Piedmont Field Trip

Saturday, October 12, 8:00am till ? (all day)Field Trip: Rock Hill Blackjacks HP in York County.

Leaders: Dr. Bill Stringer & Dan Whitten.  Hike: Moderate,   Costs: $25.00 per person for Upstate Chapter van riders.

The Rock Hill Blackjacks Heritage Preserve covers 291 acres at the edge of the city of Rock Hill in York County. The Preserve is a blend of prairie-like meadows, wetlands, upland swamps, wildflowers, wildlife and forests, including the blackjack oaks. The site has Schweinitz Sunflower (Helianthus schweinitzii), a globally rare species. There is also a significant population of Prairie dock (Silphium terebinthinaceum), very common in the midwestern tallgrass prairies, but rare in the eastern states. As a glance back in time, this small area is all that remains of the once widespread prairie system in South Carolina. This surviving remnant prairie is a result of uncommon soil conditions based on localized parent material geology.

SCNPS will sponsor an all-day field trip to the Piedmont Prairie. Upstate chapter participants will meet 8 am at 1309 Grove Road in Greenville. SCNPS will provide a 15-passenger van and others may carpool to the site. However, parking is limited. We plan to arrive around 10 am to the preserve. Final itinerary will be sent prior the event. Please dress appropriately and bring lunch and water.

Our trip will be led by Bill Stringer, retired agronomist, and Dan Whitten, naturalist. The Piedmont Chapter is our host chapter. We are honored to provide this wonderful opportunity to share this unique remnant.

To reserve a space, contact Rick Huffman 864-901-7583 <[email protected]>

Dan Whitten, Naturalist

Upstate Native Plant Sale

The Upstate Fall Greenhouse Native Plant Sale is just around the corner!! Once you flip your calendar to October, the sale is right there, boom, on Friday, October 4, from 3pm to 7pm and Saturday, October 5, from 9am to 2pm.  Just now, the soil is cooling, the temperatures are falling.  October and November are the best times to plant the trees, shrubs, perennial wildflowers, ferns, vines and grasses that will be available at the sale.  Their roots can sink into the soil and develop without the stress of summer heat and drought.  The plants will be ready to come back strongly in the spring.  Look around your landscape and make a plan of what you want popping up to delight you next spring!  We have several thousand plants available.

For a list of plants available, after Sept. 20 go to  Under the activities heading, click on calendar.  Then click on the date of October 4 where there will be a link to the plant list.

The NPS greenhouse is at 180 Lakewood Drive, Greenville, about 1 mile from Conestee Park. Look for the NPS Greenhouse sign on the mailbox.  This is a low-keyed, relaxed sale, so come and browse.  Cash, check and credit accepted.  The greenhouse is on private property with limited parking.  Please carpool if possible and bring along a friend. Call Miller Putnam at (864) 325-9700 if you have questions or would like to stop by the greenhouse between now and the sale.

Rudy Mancke at Upstate Annual Meeting

Rudy Mancke at Upstate Annual Meeting

September 17 @ 7:00 pm9:30 pm

Rudy Mancke highlights the Upstate Annual meeting on Tuesday, September 17.  He will share some of his favorite moments as a Naturalist. Mancke, known to generations of South Carolinians as the co-host of Nature Scene on South Carolina ETV,  will share his stories, memories, and wit at the annual meeting.  The event will be held in Greenville at Camperdown Academy. The address is 65 Verdae Commons Drive. (not Verdae Drive)  There will be refreshments after the program and a chance to speak with Mancke.

Mancke is the current host of Nature Notes on SC Public Radio and SCETV.  He teaches at the University of South Carolina at Columbia.  The event is free and open to the public.

Nature of Summer with Rudy Mancke

Lowcountry 2019-2020 Grant Opportunities

The Lowcountry Chapter is pleased to offer two opportunities for grant funding during the 2019-2020 program year.  For the first time, we will be dividing project types into school projects (up to $500 maximum award) and community projects (up to $1,000 maximum award).  Please review the criteria below and contact Mary Conley with any questions or submissions.

Charleston Green Drinks Resources

Here are some helpful documents the Lowcountry Chapter of SCNPS provided at the Charleston Green Drinks event on June 18.  The link to download each document is below the preview window.

For guidance on what to plant in your yard in coastal SC:

For guidance about what NOT to plant:

For more information about exotic invasive plants, please contact the SC Exotic Pest Plant Council:

Upstate Program: What Happened to the Bobwhite Quail?

Bobwhite Quail, an iconic favorite of both hunters and bird watchers are increasingly rare in South Carolina.  Michael Small, biologist, will discuss the decline of Quail at the July Native Plant Society meeting and offer suggestions to reverse the trend.  The meeting  is set for Tuesday, July 16 at 7pm at Landrum Depot, 211 Trade Avenue, Landrum, SC.

The dramatic decline in Quail populations is linked to changes in land use.  For much of the 20th century, the Southeast was a diverse mosaic of habitats.  These habitats included row crops, native grasslands, fallow fields and forest, ideal areas for Quail.  However, land use has changed.  Vacant land is being rapidly developed.  Farming practices have eliminated many of the “edge” areas that quail prefer.

Michael Small, a biologist with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, will offer suggestions for landowners to increase the amount of ideal Quail habitat on their property.  Habitat edge, where a field meets a forest, pond or fence row is often better for quail than a uniform habitat.  To enhance the “edge effect”, large fields can be divided into several small fields.  This allows  more buffer areas between fields.  Good quality edge habitat includes gradual transition zones with diverse plant communities of different types and heights, including native grasses, legumes and shrubs.  Often, some fairly simple steps, like changing mowing schedules, can get things going in the right direction of Quail.

Green Drinks with SCNPS!

Presenters: Sharleen Johnson, Kim Morganello, Jeff Jackson

Free and open to the public.  Food and drink will be available for purchase.  Please RSVP on our Eventbrite link below so we can get a head count!  A 20-minute presentation will begin at 6:15 pm, with networking, info table, and door prizes before and after.  Join us as we share information about South Carolina’s delightful diversity of native plants and help more people appreciate the vital role native plant species play in the health and sustainability of our natural ecosystems.  Charleston Green Drinks meets the 3rd week of the month at various locations, with a different environmental organization hosting each month.

Go Native: Garden for a Wild Life with the SC Native Plant Society

Sustainable Landscaping

The Tuesday, June 18th, Upstate meeting features Dr. Ellen Vincent.  She will speak on “Native Plants in the Sustainable Landscape,” with an emphasis on using the right plant in the right place. Sustainable landscapes, in general, are ecologically more stable than traditional landscapes and require less inputs such as water, fertilizers and pesticides. Because native plants offer ecosystem benefits that contribute to a healthy multi-layered environment, it would seem that native plants and sustainable landscapes would go hand in hand. They often do; however, just planting natives doesn’t automatically make a landscape sustainable.

Come out to hear Dr. Vincent’s guidance and principles for using the right plant in the right place.

The program will be held at Camperdown Academy at 65 Verdae Commons Dr, (not Verdae Blvd) Greenville.  Verdae Commons Dr. is a fairly new road and may not show up on older map programs.  If you are on Laurens Road, (276) heading north from I-85, cross E. Parkins Mill/ Verdae Blvd.  The next intersection will be Henderson Rd.on left and Verdae Commons Dr. on the right. It is across Laurens Road from Bradshaw Mazda at 2512 Laurens Road.  Turn right on Verdae Commons and go about 1/8 mile.  Look for Camperdown Academy on the left.  If you are heading south on Laurens Road from Pleasantburg Rd, pass Haywood Rd and Woodruff Rd on your left.  Look for Bradshaw Mazda on the right.  Immediately see Henderson Rd. on the right/Verdae Commons Dr. on the left.   Turn left onto Verdae Commons Dr.   Go about 1/8 mile and look for Camperdown Academy on the left.  Look for the SCNPS event signs.  You can also put Bradshaw Mazda 2512 Laurens Rd in your map program and that will take you very close to the correct intersection.

The program starts at 7pm.  Arrive at 6:30 for socializing and refreshments.