Grants Committee Seeks Members: Help us help our Upstate!

The SCNPS Upstate Chapter is seeking individuals to be part of our Grants Committee, where they (you!) will participate in the review and recommendation of grant applications received under the Upstate SCNPS Grants Program.

The Committee will meet as needed to discuss the grants, evaluate applications against the Community Grants criteria, and identify any outstanding questions/clarifications. 

Additionally, Committee members may be asked to follow a grantee’s progress for compliance with grant conditions. They may also assist in the research of grant and fundraising opportunities, including drafting documents or completing applications to solicit funding for SCNPS Upstate projects.

To serve on the Upstate Chapter’s Grant Committee, individuals should reside in the geographic area that makes up the SCNPS Upstate Chapter. Grant writing experience is beneficial but not required.

If you’re interested, please contact Grants Committee Chair Daren Jakeman at [email protected]. We’d love to have you!

Wanted: Programs Chair

Wanted: Programs Chair

Board Level Position

The Upstate Chapter is seeking a Programs Committee Chairperson, a volunteer Board-level position which requires attendance at monthly board meetings (via Zoom). 

The Programs Chair oversees and works with the Programs Committee, arranging regular meeting programs and workshops for the Upstate Chapter. The committee selects topics and speakers and coordinates workshops and other educational activities; arranges schedules including dates, times, and meeting places; procures material and equipment for the programs; and provides annotated schedules and speaker contact information in a timely fashion to the Upstate Publicity Committee. 

Experience using Zoom is helpful but not required. If interested, please contact the Upstate Chapter President at [email protected].

SCNPS is an all-volunteer organization. We’d love to have you on board!

Get Thee Gone, Lawn!

It’s seemingly everywhere these days: Get Thee Gone, Lawn!

In a sign of how mainstream the anti-lawn movement has become, the current (March/April, 2023) issue of Reader’s Digest has an article excerpted from the Washington Post which explores the history of the lawning of America, and the myriad reasons to reverse it.

It’s a fun and inspiring read, just at the right time of year for all of us in the Upstate to consider: How much lawn do we really want — or need?

Planes, trains, and automobiles — and leaf blowers?

An emissions testing lab pitted a 6,210cc truck against a 30cc leaf blower. Guess which one lost.

SCNPS founder Rick Huffman sent in the following report, along with a scathing commentary:

“The landscape industry is broken. From toxic chemicals and fertilizers to fueling climate disaster, it’s hard to comprehend the magnitude. It’s a billion-dollar industry built upon an artificial view of the outdoor world where water is to be wasted and polluted with fertilizers and herbicides, and nature is to bend to heel. Landscapes are chemically and mechanically frozen in time. The machine of marketing and money suppress our concept as “Daniel Boone” landscaping with stick and pots of dirt… As the blowers and weed eaters crank up, now you know.”

The results from the testing lab:

Click HERE to read a lively article detailing the setup and results of the test.

Welcome South Carolina’s Newest State Park!

Black River. Credit: Edisto River Adventures

For the first time in almost 20 years, South Carolina has announced the creation of a new State Park. Named for the river which it will encompass, the Black River State Park has long been a dream of the SCNPS founder and past-president, Rick Huffman. (Many will recall the amazing presentation he gave last fall, “Black River State Park and Water Trails Master Plan.”

The Black River is 151 miles long, flowing through forests and swamps, its banks lined with ancient cypress and tupelo trees that clean the river while infusing its translucent waters with dark, organic tannins. And it is also rich with wildlife: On its banks, amphibians emerge from the inky waters to lay their eggs in damp hardwood forests, while the upland native longleaf pine forests are home to colonies of endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers and flatwoods salamanders.

The Black River Initiative is a community-inspired vision to establish a new recreational water trail connecting a growing network of public lands. The collaborative effort will, among much else, protect the wilderness areas of the river; provide equitable access; support the rural economy; and safeguard mature forests for wildlife, water quality, flood retention. 

To follow along as the park progresses, visit the Black River Initiative website, HERE.

Fig Buttercup: Soon to be Blooming Near You…

The SCNPS is partnering with the Friends of the Reedy River (FoRR) this spring to help eradicate the Fig Buttercup (Ficaria verna), an innocent-looking wildflower that is in fact an extremely aggressive invasive plant. It quickly forms mats that out-competes all other native plants along moist streambanks and other wet regions, denying vital resources for pollinators and threatening our healthy biodiverse ecosystems, from the quality of the water we drink to the places we value for recreation.

We need your help with this important Citizen Science endeavor! Unlike most problem plants, this one is an early spring ephemeral and easily recognizable for only a short period, usually March and early April.

Take a few minutes to view this video and learn HOW to recognize it, WHERE it can be found, WHEN to look for it, and WHY it’s so important.

From the SCNPS Grand Strand Chapter: Lewis Ocean Bay Under Threat

Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve (LOBHP) is home to at least 37 rare plant species, including Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) and Raven’s primrose willow (Ludwigia raevnii). Many of these species are fire dependent, meaning they require cycles to help maintain the habitat needed for growth, promoting pollinators and enabling nutrient cycling. 

Construction of a hospital has been proposed across from LOBHP by Conway Medical Center. At such close proximity, the hospital will drastically limit the ability to perform prescribed burns on the property which would imperil the fire dependent plant species.

We are asking you to take action! We encourage you to participate in the #seeLOB campaign by sharing photos and experiences of LOBHP on social media and with local councilmen and CMC. 

To learn more, click 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

Midlands Spring 2023 Native Plant Sale



Friday, April 14, 2023 6:00 pm until…
Members-Only Happy Hour and Early Sales
Bring your beverage of choice and come hang out, shop, and enjoy MNPS-provided snacks by the river.

Saturday April 15, 2023
8:30 am – 9:30 am: Final set-up and training morning volunteers
9:30 am – 10:00 am: Open to members
10:00 am – 5:00 pm: Open to general public

Canoeing for Kids HQ, 114 Riverchase Court, Lexington SC

Come find the native plants that feed pollinators, birds, and bring some nature home! Perennials and shrubs are selected to thrive in the Midlands.

And stay a while! Get a bite to eat from the Wurst Wagon, buy a native plant book from All Good Books, browse plant-based art from Candace Thibeault, and get a bluebird house from Columbia Audubon Society.

Pay with cash or credit. BYO wagon is ok.

Plant list coming soon.

Volunteers needed for set up on Friday, April 14 and during the sale!
Volunteers can purchase plants early. Contact [email protected] to sign up or with questions.

  • Set Up Crew unloads plants from delivery trucks, places them according to a map, and installs plant signs on Friday during the day.
  • Cashier and Tally work together at the checkout to count up plants and prices, run credit cards, make change, and provide receipts.
  • Information Table hands out brochures and discusses how to learn more about native plants
  • Plant Helpers use wagons to move plants and will be assigned a list of about 5 plants to read up on and be ready to answer customer questions.

2023 Upstate Spring Sale Volunteer Job Descriptions

Volunteer activities will take place at these locations:

  • Upstate Native Nursery (UNN) at 180 Lakewood Dr., Mauldin, SC 29667
  • SCNPS storage unit: Midgard Self Storage, 935 Butler Rd, Greenville, SC, 29607
  • Conestee Park, 840 Mauldin Road, Greenville (near baseball stadium; a 3-minute drive south of I-85 exit to Mauldin Rd)

Pre-Sale Team:

  • Pre-Sale Inventory: Take plant inventory at UNN. Day: Saturday, April 1, 10-1
  • Pre-Sale Orders: Pull pre-sale orders for members and volunteers at UNN. Days: Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday
  • Prep for General Sale: Label and prepare plants at UNN. Day: Thursday
  • Load and Transport: Load and unload plants and equipment in and out of trucks from the UNN Greenhouse and Storage Unit to Conestee Park. Need “strong” backs. Bring your truck, trailer, or SUV if you can. Day: Friday

Set-Up Team:

  • Friday Help with plant sale site layout at Conestee Park. Help unload and arrange plants. Water Plants. Check for price tags. Set up checkout and holding area, and place traffic barriers. Saturday set up tents, tables, and chairs, and put out signs.

Day-Of Team:

  • Vehicle Traffic Directors: Stationed in the upper parking lot to make sure cars don’t get in the way of customers lining up to enter the sale and that customers line up safely. Also stationed at the lower parking lot to make sure cars drive through in the right direction. Day: Saturday
  • Front Entrance Team: Work at Entrance Table and Line Management. Greet customers at entry, hand out plant lists and membership forms. Use a clicker to count customers entering the gate. Manage customer lines during sale and direct customers to holding, checkout, and exits. Answer questions and explain the holding and checkout process. Direct customers to plant experts and guest vendors. Training will be provided. Day: Saturday
  • Sales Team: The “orange vest” team provides education and advocacy to customers (and other volunteers) and helps customers locate and select plants. Day: Saturday
  • Holding / Loading Area Team: Place plants in numbered spaces and give customer matching token. Help pull price stakes in preparation for checkout. Load plants into customer vehicles. Some heavy lifting and lots of walking are involved. Day: Saturday
  • Invoicing Team: Work at Checkout table as an invoicer: Pull, sort, and count price stakes; fill out invoices; calculate subtotals. **Must be familiar with calculators, and comfortable with numbers and invoicing. Training provided. Day: Saturday
  • Cashier Team: Work at Checkout table as a cashier: Add subtotals for a grand total on customer tickets.  Receive payment from customers (cash, check, credit/debit cards). **Must be comfortable with calculators and using card readers and making change — retail experience helpful. Training will be provided. Day: Saturday
  • Hospitality Team/Volunteer Welcome Tables: Provide information and refreshments for volunteers. Set up water cooler for everyone and keep table neat and stocked. Day: Saturday
  • Snack Maker: Provide cookies and snacks for volunteers. Day: Saturday
  • Information and Book Table: Talk to customers. Provide information on SCNPS, as well as Upstate Chapter and Membership. Sell books and provide handouts. Get customers to sign up for future plant sale emails. Day: Saturday

Post-Sale Team:

  • Help take post-sale inventory. Help break down the sale and reload remaining plants and equipment for unloading at the Greenhouse and storage unit. Take down barriers and clean up the area. Day: Saturday
To dive right in and tell us how you can help, click HERE.
To get more general information about the sale, click HERE.
All volunteers must sign a Release and Waiver of Liability form prior to their shift(s).