SCNPS Symposiums

Meet, Learn, Explore

2024 symposium

The South Carolina Native Plant Society (SCNPS) offers a statewide multiday symposium every other year, alternating with a statewide annual meeting. Symposiums rotate among chapters and the hosting chapter works with the state President to organize and carry out the symposium. These gatherings bring together members from around the state to meet each other, enjoy top notch speakers, attend workshops, and explore regional special places on field trips. They help the five state chapters bond together as a statewide organization.

Subscribe to our email newsletter for more information about upcoming symposiums. See information about past symposiums below, with links to recordings where available.

The 2021 Symposium was hosted by the Lowcountry Chapter on November 3 – 7, 2021. This symposium was a hybrid event due to restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic. It combined both virtual lectures and in-person activities. Events were free, although registration was required for in person activities.


Featured Virtual Lectures:

In-person Outdoor Learning Sessions:

In-person Field Trips:

The 2018 Symposium was hosted by the South Coast Chapter on October 5 – 7, 2018 at the Palm Key Nature Center in Ridgeland, SC.


Featured Speakers:

  • Matt Johnson, Director of Bird Conservation & Engagement Audubon, SC Beidler Forest. Matt is an expert in bird biology.
  • “Jan” Haldeman taught biology at Erskine College from 1967 until her retirement in May 2002. Dr. Haldeman is a long-time member of the South Carolina Native Plant Society. She was involved in development of a list and the brochure of South Carolina’s Invasive Plant Pest Species.
  • Vicky McMillan, retired biologist who specialized in studies of dragonfly behavior throughout the state. Her presentation gave an overview of the biology of these beautiful insects, including their life-cycle, feeding behavior, and unusual reproductive behavior.
  • Kristen Marshall Mattson, an environmental educator for the Spring Island Trust/LowCountry Institute.

Outdoor Tours:

The 2016 SC Native Plant Society Symposium was held by the Upstate Chapter at Clemson University on October 7 – 9, 2016, celebrating the SCNPS’s 20th Anniversary. The South Carolina Botanical Garden and the Garden Club of South Carolina co-sponsored this event, connecting three of our state’s premier botanical and conservation organizations. Symposium programs were held at the South Carolina Botanical Garden and the Madren Conference Center, along with many workshops and field trips on the Clemson campus and at special sites in the Clemson area.

Featured Speakers:

You can view the Symposium Guide here.

The 2015 SC Native Plant Society Symposium was held by the Lowcountry Chapter at the Felix Davis Community Center Park Circle in North Charleston on June 12 – 14, 2015. Attendees were invited to learn about relationships between people and plants, including the use of native plants as medicine, as food, and for many other practical purposes. We had a diverse set of lectures, workshops, and field trips about the wonderful native plants found right in our own backyards.

Featured Speakers:


View Program Guide here.

The 2012 SC Native Plant Society Symposium was held by the Upstate Chapter at the Madren Center in Clemson on April 13 – 14, 2012. There were workshops and field trips focused on history of the native plant communities of South Carolina’s Mountains and upper Piedmont.

Featured Speakers:

  • Philip Juras, a wonderful writer and painter of current and historic native plant landscapes.

The 2011 SC Native Plant Society Symposium was held by the Piedmont Chapter at Winthrop College in Rock Hill, SC in May, 2011. The featured presentation was about the Catawba Cultural Center, focusing on the cultural and botanical history of the Catawba Indian Nation. Field trips and workshops were included, and the weekend ended with a kayaking tour through the spectacular bloom of rocky shoals spider lilies on the Catawba River at Landsford Canal State State Park.

The 2009 SC Native Plant Society Symposium was held by the Midlands Chapter at Poinsett State Park Mill Pond on October 17, 2009.

Featured Speakers:

Featured Workshops & Field Trips:

  • Bog Gardening with Mike Creel
  • Nature-Scaping Workshop with Jean Woods
  • Poinsett Range Manchester State Forest Walk with Terry Madewell
  • Seeps /Bottomlands Nature Walk with Bert Pittman and Kathy Boyle
  • Congaree National Park Big Tree Walk with Gordon Murphy
  • Coquina Trail Walk with Jeff Glitzenstein
  • Sparkleberry Swamp kayak trip with Jerry Bright.
  • USC Arboretum with Pat DeCoursey.