Changing Landscaping Pardigms

Former SCNPS President and life-long native plant advocate Rick Huffman reflects on the challenges of changing paradigms toward a more ecologically sound landscape design basis that takes into consideration a better understanding of soils, water, hydrology, light, shadow and micro-climates.  The article is a must-read for those of us looking to move their landscapes toward the ‘Living Landscape’ concept, and it’s an inspirational commentary for all native plant enthusiasts.

Read Landscape Design through the Lens of Ecology here.

 

Upstate Propagation Class

It’s that time again for the free Native Plant Propagation course at the Upstate Native Nursery.  We had to set aside this SCNPS favorite due to Covid for the past year and are pleased to announce the upcoming course at the Upstate Native Nursery. The three-hour course  includes the basics of both sexual and asexual (vegetative) plant reproduction and hands-on propagation.

Instructors Miller Putnam and Jon Fritz will guide you in the planting of your own seed flat from our Upstate Native Seed Bank. You’ll learn methods for bringing seeds out of dormancy (i.e., scarification, stratification), and through germination using a variety of recipes of soil, light, water, time and temperature.

The second and final class for this season will be held on Saturday June 5th from 9am-noon.  For more information on the class and to sign-up CLICK HERE or contact:

Miller Putnam, 864 325 9700  [email protected]

 

Carbon Landscaping

an essay by Doug Lockard

“Human activity is driving climate change.  If we want to mitigate the worst impacts, it’s going to take a deliberate focus on finding ways to further remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.”  Colm Sweeney, NOAA’s Global Monitoring Laboratory

NOAA announced recently that carbon dioxide in our atmosphere was recorded at a record-high 421 ppm; about 50% higher than prior to the Industrial Revolution.  In fact, they reported, the level of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere is now higher than it has been in at least 3.6 million years.

Because soil holds four times the amount of carbon stored in the atmosphere, how we use the land under our care will determine how well it sequesters carbon.  Good land stewardship practices that include deep-rooted perennials, woody plants and trees will help sequester carbon in the soil.  Native plants are ideal for this purpose as they have the best chance of thriving and long-life in our ecosystems without chemicals or irrigation. 

READ THE ARTICLE

Upstate Zoom Meeting Tues. Nov. 17

Upstate General Meeting with Helen Mohr

Where:  Zoom Virtual Meeting
When:  Tuesday Nov 17, 2020 from 6:30pm 
Our speaker for November’s meeting is Helen Mohr, M.S., and she will present, “Fire in the South Carolina Mountains, Past, Present and Future”.  Helen is a Forester with the U.S. Forest Service, Southern Research Station at Clemson, and the Director of the Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists.  She and her student-led fire crew were recently featured in Clemson World in the article “Fire Tiger”. She has many years of experience working with fire as a firefighter, researcher, communicator and mentor.
Helen just returned from a 3-week stint fighting fires out in Colorado while spending nights in a tent! Here in South Carolina, she is an expert on using fire to benefit forests with controlled burns. During her talk, Helen will discuss fire ecology with an overview of prescribed fire in the SC mountains.
ZOOM LINK:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82305733563?pwd=NS9hNDM5ZFkzZGxoR0l2eWp3QjJ5QT09

Meeting ID: 823 0573 3563
Passcode: 087244

Join the meeting at 6:30 for some Zoom social time.  The program will start at 7pm.

SCNPS Upstate Chapter October Meeting

Author Pam Shucker will present our online program in October featuring a new book she and Bill Robertson recently published: “Round About Greenville and the Carolina Blue Ridge”.

Pam and Bill are both members of the Upstate Chapter of the SCNPS and also worked with our Upstate board member Janie Marlow who designed the book.

The invitation and link to the program will be sent out via Tiny Letter and the new upstate E-News the week of the event.  Upstate members are already receiving weekly E-News articles.  If you have not seen them, please check your spam folder for these timely and interesting articles.

Here’s the Zoom invitation:

Topic: SCNPS Upstate Program
Time: Oct 20, 2020 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting:

“Wild Plants on the Rabbit” has been updated!

In Fall 2020, a 2nd edition was published, featuring an expanded map that includes the proposed Trail extension along the Laurens Road corridor and showcasing a few more plants!

SCNPS is pleased to announce
a 2nd edition of the popular
“Wild Plants on the Rabbit” —

SCNPS announces the second edition of “Wild Plants on the Rabbit”, a pocket-sized brochure showcasing native and naturalized plants on the highly acclaimed Prisma Swamp Rabbit Trail. In addition to a few more plants, the revised brochure’s map includes the proposed Laurens Road corridor extension.

The 20-mile Trail allows people to get up close and personal with plants outside a cultivated setting. A common misconception is that a plant growing “wild” must be native to this area, but many exotic plants have established themselves along the Trail.

The brochure features over 100 trees, shrubs, grasses, ferns and wildflowers, with a photograph and a short description. SCNPS encourages people to use Wild Plants on the Rabbit as a checklist, checking off plants as they see them. Sharp eyes may spot Beardtongue, Trillium, Bloodroot, Devil’s Walkingstick, Cardinal Flower, Swamp Milkweed, Downy Lobelia, various Sunflowers, and even the small white flowers of the globally rare, federally protected Bunched Arrowhead!

Almost 400 species have been documented on the Trail. Visit https://SCNPS.org/swamprabbit for links to this more complete inventory and to submit photos for identification.

Wild Plants on the Rabbit brochures are free and available at Upstate Chapter events and at other outlets listed here — https://scnps.org/swamprabbit#a_outlets

A big thank you to our sponsors,
who help make projects like this possible!

 

The Importance of Native Trees

Furman University, Photo by Doug Lockard

By: Doug Lockard

You don’t have to be a tree-hugger to appreciate the benefit of trees.  Just look at the children, the birds, and the butterflies.  I always pause to consider the expression ‘preserving our way of life’ and how relevant that is when speaking of the conservation mission of the SCNPS and so many other great organizations.  Trees are quite literally a part of our ‘way-of-life’.  We humans and the wildlife so necessary to our own existence are imperiled hand-in-glove with that of our tree population.

Most of us are aware today that the incredibly rapid economic growth in the world, and that however unwittingly or unintentioned, that development has and continues to seriously degrade the earth’s capacity to sustain its plants and animals.  In doing so, we threaten our own well-being today and our children’s future.

This essay then, addresses the question we so often ask ourselves; “What can I do?”.

To read more visit: https://scnps.org/education/homeowners/the-importance-of-native-trees

Native Hikes Project

By: Doug Lockard

There are many wonderful trees native to our ecosystems here in South Carolina, and as such, are beneficial to the wildlife that evolved her alongside them.  This list below is compliments of the US Forestry Service here in our state.  These trees, if propertly planted, will very likely live longer, require less maintenance, and bring more benefit than the wide variety of non-native trees available commercially here.

White Turtlehead, Photo by Janie Marlow

My wife Patty and I love to hike at Paris Mountain State Park.  It’s close by and affords great cardio exercise in a beautiful setting.  We hike all the trails throughout the year, but our favorite is a combination we call the ‘Mutt Trail’.  It links four trail sections beginning in the upper parking lot, then proceeding north on the Brissy Ridge trail, then west at the intersection with Kanuga, and then south for a short piece on the Fire Tower Trail, and the last (and downhill) leg on Sulphur Springs back to the parking lot.  It’s about 3.3 miles with a gradient of only 195 feet (mostly on the second leg) and the signage is easy to follow. Because this trail combination is a virtual circle you get to experience a nice range of plant communities with their corresponding native plants that thrive in each.

Over the month of August, I began experimenting with a new picture identification phone app called ‘Picture This’ while hiking the Mutt Trail and I recorded over 75 native species with reasonable confidence.  It occurred to me that with a little help from others, we could map more trails throughout the Upstate with seasonal updates as part of an anecdotal observation project.  There are other plant identification aps we could also experiment with as part of the same project and compare notes on these as well.  If anyone is interested in this project, drop me a line at [email protected].  

To learn more visit: https://scnps.org/activities/native-hikes-project