Midlands Spring Native Plant Sale April 13, 2024

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The 2024 Midlands Spring Native Plant Sale will be Saturday, April 13.
We return to Canoeing for Kids HQ in Lexington, a gem of a spot on the Saluda river.
Come shop for the South Carolina plants best to bring beauty and wildlife to your garden. The plant sale focuses on blooming perennials, grasses, and our favorite smaller blooming shrubs and trees.

More details and plant list coming soon!
To volunteer, please email mnpsplantsale@gmail.com
Text reads Midlands Spring Native Plant Sale, Saturday, April 13, 2024 Where: Canoeing for Kids, Lexington, SC Volunteers Needed Email: mnpsplantsale@gmail.com

Job Openings with the National Wildlife Federation

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The National Wildlife Federation is beginning an exciting program in South Carolina and has opened up four new positions on the project team. The program is funded by a 5-year grant, and there are opportunities to expand the program beyond the grant term.

Grow Outdoors South Carolina aims to transform early childhood outdoor spaces into naturalized environments that spark play and learning. The Design and Engagement Manager will provide leadership for the ECHO Grow Outdoors South Carolina multi-disciplinary education and design team to implement the program’s overarching initiatives.

For more information, visit their website

On Our Radar: 50 Years of the Naturaland Trust

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As we anticipate having the Naturaland Trust’s Frank Holleman as the Upstate’s November speaker, Special Correspondent Doug Lockard dug this one up: the Greenville Journal’s Jay King on the founding (by the Upstate’s own Tommy Wyche) of the Trust, and the history and evolution of the organization. Fascinating and inspiring stuff!

Read the full story HERE.

On Our Radar: Tiny Libraries, Tiny Houses, and… Tiny Forests?

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First, there were tiny libraries cropping up all over. Then, tiny houses became all the craze. (Don’t get us wrong. We definitely approve of both.)

But, oh, man. This next one really gets our juices flowing!

From the New York Times (yes, sorry, behind the paywall), an amazing article about the growing trend toward the planting and tending of “Tiny Native Forests.” Wow!

To quote the article, this is “a sweeping movement that is transforming dusty highway shoulders, parking lots, schoolyards and junkyards worldwide. Tiny forests have been planted across Europe, in Africa, throughout Asia and in South America, Russia and the Middle East. India has hundreds, and Japan, where it all began, has thousands. Now tiny forests are slowly but steadily appearing in the United States.”

If you’ve got access, go read the article. Whether you do or don’t, get inspired! We’ve all got a postage-stamp-sized something. Let’s jump on the Tiny Tree Train!

Greenville County Council Vote on Riparian Buffers*…

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WE DID IT! We got the waterway buffers we need. (But with an asterisk…)

We offer so many thanks to everyone who called, emailed, and showed up to the Greenville County Council meeting on November 7th. Because of you, the Greenville County Council voted to enshrine 50-foot riparian buffers on our waterways — for the time being (that’s the asterisk part).

Our work here is not done. But meanwhile, kudos to everyone who fought for this one. Onward and upward, together, always!

We’ll have a full report next month, including a deep dive into the details of how this all works and what comes next, courtesy of our newest editor and contributor, Cindy Clark. Keep your eye on this space!



Lifetime Achievement: Green Tie Goes to Chief Parr

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September 20 was an emotional day for our own Rick Huffman, as he attended a ceremony honoring the Pee Dee Tribe’s Chief Pete Parr’s decades of conservation advocacy and education.

“The Green Tie Award for Lifetime Conservation Achievement,” given annually by the Conservation Voters of South Carolina, only scratches the surface about what a brilliant, transformative figure the Chief has been. So, below are just a few links which we encourage you to follow, if you’d like to feel a jolt of optimism for our collective future! (As Rick summed it up: “It was a sweet day. It gives me hope. Conservation is about people and culture as well as the land. The Chief is all that.”)


South Carolina Native Plant Week, 2023

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Recap: October 16-20, 2023

Sparked by legislation drafted by Audubon South Carolina, the South Carolina Native Plant Week was first introduced as a resolution to the state legislature in 2017 and signed into law by Governor McMaster in April 2018.

This resolution recognized that “native plants are essential for healthy, diverse, and sustainable ecosystems,” and permanently established the third week of October as Native Plant Week in South Carolina.”

This year the big week… well, um. Didn’t see a lot of action. But we’re hoping to change that!

Send ideas to upstatepublicity@SCNPS.org (for any part of the state, not just up here in nose-bleed land!), and we’ll see if we can’t get next year’s party started!

Annual Meeting Update: New Bylaws

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The New Bylaws, Now Available for Your Reviewing Pleasure!

The SCNPS Board of Directors and the Bylaws Committee have been hard at work revising the organization’s bylaws (and, let’s face it: The last update was in 2015, which is, like, soooo last century!).

Bylaws Review: The shiny new set of rules and regs is now available for YOU, dear member, to read over and weigh in on. Members in good standing are encouraged to review them and vote, either in person at the SCNPS Annual Meeting on November 4 or via an emailed absentee ballot (available upon request) no later than November 18. Please review the updated bylaws below. 

Annual Meeting: The Annual Meeting will take place at Saluda Shoals Park in Columbia, SC on Saturday, November 4 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Find all the information on speakers, field trips, and registration at the Event page. Tickets are $30 and include lunch and field trips. 

Statewide Officers: In addition to voting on the new bylaws, we will be selecting a new set of statewide officers (Learn more about the nominees, HERE!). Additionally, the SCNPS is still seeking a new Membership Committee Chair! This is not an elected post, but a volunteer position requiring the Board of Directors’ approval. If you are interested in serving or need additional information, please contact Mitzi Stewart at membership@scnps.org.

Absentee Ballots: Absentee ballots for voting on both the new slate of officers and the new bylaws may be requested by any member in good standing unable to attend the annual meeting. The request must be made in writing to President Katie Ellis at president@scnps.org. Absentee ballots for the officer election MUST be completed and returned to Katie no later than October 31, 2023. Votes to approve the bylaws will be accepted until November 18, 2023. A ballot box will also be available at the annual meeting.

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2023 Annual Meeting Registration Open

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South Carolina Native Plant Society Annual Meeting and Symposium

All the details are here for the meeting on Saturday, November 4, 2023 at Saluda Shoals Park in Columbia.

Find all the information on speakers, field trips, and registration at the Event page. Tickets are $30 and include lunch and field trips.

See the list of candidates for the State Board, to be elected at the meeting.

Autumn scene on the Saluda River.

The 2023 State-Wide Officers Election Ballot is Announced

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In conjunction with the 2023 SCNPS Annual Meeting scheduled for November 4th, 2023 in Columbia, SC, the Society will hold elections for state officers. The State Board of Directors puts forth the following candidates for election to the SCNPS State Board of Directors:

State President – Dan Whitten: Dan has been a member of the SCNPS since 2009 and has served as president of the Upstate chapter from 2014-2018 and is currently serving on that board as field trip chair. He is a state certified Master Naturalist and assists as volunteer with the Upstate MN classes. Dan graduated from Auburn University in 1975 with a BS degree and majored in wildlife management. He worked 30 years at Michelin before retiring in 2008. He enjoys leading pontoon boat tours on Lake Jocassee for Jocassee Lake Tours. Dan and Sherrie have been married 41 years and have 2 daughters and 5 grandchildren.

State Vice-President – Frank Holleman: Frank is a long-time member of the SC Native Plant Society. He has served for years on the Board of the Upstate Chapter, working on advocacy, plant rescues, exotic removal work days, and plant sales. Frank also serves as President of Naturaland Trust, a Greenville-based land trust which has conserved properties to protect Bunched Arrowhead, Dwarf-flower Heartleaf, Oconee Bell, Rocky Shoals Spider Lily, and Carolina Bays. Frank is a senior attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center and has represented the Society in administrative and court proceedings to protect native plants and their habitat.

Secretary – Samantha Porzelt: Samantha is a Water Resources Extension Agent in Charleston, Dorchester, and Berkeley counties. She joined Clemson Extension in 2021 after 8 years of working as a Biologist in non-profit public aquariums. As part of her role with Clemson Extension, she co-coordinates the Ashley Cooper Stormwater Education Consortium and coordinates Clemson’s Master Rain Gardener hybrid course. She is a current student of Clemson University’s Wildlife and Fisheries Resources master’s program. Samantha has been a member of SCNPS since 2020 and is also currently serving as the SCNPS Lowcountry Chapter President.

Treasurer – Tierney Rosenstock: Tierney grew up on her parent’s cut flower and Christmas tree farm in upstate NY, going on to spend eight years working in greenhouse crop production in retail garden centers in NY and FL. She holds a BS in Plant, Soil, and Insect Sciences from the University of Massachusetts and a Masters of Science in Environmental Studies and Conservation Biology from Antioch University. Through her upbringing and education, she developed an intrinsic passion for environmental conservation and the role native plants play in functioning ecosystems. Tierney is a founding member of the Grand Strand Chapter of the SCNPS and works as a GIS analyst with Horry County Government.

Additional Nominations: Nominations are still being accepted for these positions. Additional nominations must be made by a member in good standing and submitted no later than October 10, 2023 to be included on the final printed ballot. Please submit nominations in writing to Katie Ellis at president@scnps.org or via postal mail to SCNPS President at PO Box 1311, Chester, SC 29706.

Absentee Ballots: Absentee ballots may be requested by any member in good standing not attending the annual meeting. The request must be made in writing to Katie Ellis at the same email or postal mail address noted above. Absentee ballots MUST be completed and returned to Katie no later than October 31, 2023. A ballot box will be available at the annual meeting.

The Board of Directors and Nominating Committee are still seeking persons interested in serving as Membership Committee Chair. This is not an elected position, but a volunteer position requiring Board of Directors approval/appointment. Should you be interested in serving or need additional information about the positions, please contact Mitzi Stewart at membership@scnps.org.