The 2023 Upstate SCNPS Spring Sale Call for Volunteers


Here’s the skinny: The in-person plant sale is back, but with a hybrid twist. The General Sale (details below) will take place on Saturday, April 15, but MEMBERS & VOLUNTEERS will have the opportunity to purchase plants in advance (online-only), on Saturday and Sunday, April 8 & 9.

It takes a whole host of enthusiastic volunteers to put on a great plant sale. In the immortal words of longtime SCNPS member and mainstay Judy Seeley, “If everyone does a little, no one does too much!”

And, no worries: You don’t have to be an expert, just ready and willing to help. It takes a village to make magic. Read on for all the details!

UPDATE as of March 29th:

Some of the areas where we still need the most help are:

    • Equipment Transport (vehicles and people)
    • Day-of-Sale Set-Up
    • Traffic Direction/Management
    • Front Entrance Staffing
    • Checkout (Invoicers, Cashiers, Receipt Checkers)
    • Holding/Loading
    • Day-of-Sale Breakdown


Pre-Sale: Saturday, April 1, 10-1 – FILLED
Pre-Sale: Monday and Tuesday, April 10 & 11, 9-4 – FILLED
Sale Setup: Friday, April 14, 2023, 8 am – 4 pm – FILLED
Sale: Saturday, April 15, 8:00 am – 1 pm
Breakdown: Saturday, April 15, 1 pm – 4 pm

Pre-Sale Orders: Saturday-Sunday, April 8 & 9 (Members & Volunteers) (Online ONLY)
Pickup at the Upstate Native Nursery (UNN), 180 Lakewood Dr., Mauldin, SC 29667, by Wednesday, April 12 

General SaleSaturday, April 15, 2023
Conestee Park, 840 Mauldin Road, Greenville, SC 29607. Gates Open 9 O’Clock! Gates Close 1 pm!

Just a few of the areas of expertise (or willingness to learn) that we’re seeking include:


  • Got an in at a local paper or online newsletter? How about an Upstate-oriented podcast or radio program? Or, willing to distribute flyers to local businesses all over the Upstate? We can use your help!

Volunteer Recruitment

  • Please help us spread the word that we need volunteers.  College students would be great helpers in the holding and loading areas!


  • Have you got a strong back? Or a pickup truck? Or, even better, both? We need you! There’s a lot of physical labor involved in throwing this party. Tables and barricades need to be pulled out of storage, transported to the sale site and set up (and the reverse once the sale is over). The plants have to be moved from the SCNPS greenhouse and gardens to Conestee, and back again. (Not that there will be a single one left, of course!)
  • Not really feeling the machismo? That’s okay, we need you, too! We’ll be marking chalk lines, laying out row markers, and setting up the cashier stations. And, during the sale, we’ll need folks staffing the holding and pickup areas, manning the cash registers, monitoring/directing the flow of traffic into and out of the sale, and helping to keep the arteries clear.
  • Can’t be there for the whole day? We also need volunteers to help take inventory of the plants, both before the sale and after.

And It Wouldn’t be a Party…

  • …without refreshments! Do you bake, cater, or know someone who does? We need to keep our volunteers fed, caffeinated, hydrated, and happy!

Have we Mentioned the PERK?

  • Volunteers and members get first crack at the plants, during the presale, Saturday & Sunday, April 8th and 9th (online only). There’s a limit on what you can buy (because otherwise, we’d get wiped out before we opened!), but if you’ve got your heart set on a few special somethings, sign up today and be first in line!
For details about all the positions we need filled, click HERE.
Or, to dive right in and tell us how you can help, click HERE!

As much as we love our furry friends, only identified service dogs will be allowed inside the sale area. There is a dog park next to the upper parking lot where supervised dogs can play!



2023 Upstate Spring Native Plant Sale


Once again this spring, the Upstate Chapter will be throwing a large, in-person sale at Conestee Park, 840 Mauldin Road in Greenville on Saturday, April 15th from 9:00am to 1pm.

Knowledgeable advisors will be on the sale floor to assist customers with plant selection!

As always, the sale will include a wide selection of native shrubs, trees, perennial wildflowers, ferns, vines, and grasses. Please assume lots of impulse buying, and bring your own cart or wagon! (Regretfully, we won’t have any to loan out this year).

Cash, credit cards, and checks will be accepted. (PLEASE NOTE: There will be a 3% surcharge on credit card payments to help us cover our Square charges.)

Visit the 2023 Spring Upstate Plant Sale page in April for updated information and a list of plants available (target date April 5).


Guest plant vendors include Carolina Wild, Jeff Miller’s carnivorous plants and Saturnia Farm. There will also be educational exhibits, including some of our favorite beekeepers, a book booth with tomes on Native plants, and an Exotic Invasive Species public service booth.


Many volunteers are needed to run the sale. You don’t need to be a member to volunteer, and you don’t need to be an expert, either! We will be most pleased to train you on the various jobs, from moving plants, assisting customers, writing up invoices, to holding plants while customers continue to shop and loading plants into vehicles once they’re done!  Click HERE to see all the ways and time slots where you can help make the sale a success.


Paid up members and Upstate Native Plant Society volunteers get early access to the plants! There will be an online presale on April 8 and 9. Read the full details on our 2023 Spring Upstate Plant Sale Page. And, please note: There will NOT be early access on the day of the sale. BE ONLINE OR BE — well. You know the rest!

Annual Open House Announcement for the Parks Mill Rocky Shoals Spiderlily Preserve

Spider Lily Dates are set for the annual Open House at Parks Mill Rocky Shoals Spiderlily Preserve during peak season again.  We will be hosting guided visits on Saturday, May 20 and Saturday May 27 this year.

About the Site:

In July of 2016, the South Carolina Native Plant Society (SCNPS), Naturaland Trust (NT), and Upper Savannah Land Trust (USLT) collaborated to protect a creek full of rocky shoals spiderlilies and a historic gristmill on 13 acres of land and creek-bed on Stevens Creek near Plum Branch, SC.  The Site is owned by NT, the Site and resources are managed by the SCNPS, and USLT holds the conservation easement that legally protects the Site from future development.Grist Mill

This site boasts a wonderful population of the rare native Rocky Shoals Spiderlily (Hymenocallis coronaria), as well as a reasonably well preserved, (restoration in-progress) late 19th-century water-powered grist mill structure.

Since 2016, we have been hosting public open house events during the expected peak Lily flowering period.  At these events the public is invited to come see the beautiful lily population in the Creek, as well as the gristmill complex.  Guides will be available to tour the site and field questions.

To Register:

This year the dates will be Saturday, May 20, and Saturday, May 27. On both dates the site will be open from 10:00 till 12:00 and again from 1:00 till 3:00 pm. The blooming is pretty uniform, so opting for either the morning or afternoon on either Saturday shouldn’t make a difference in the quality of the show. We do ask that you select a morning or afternoon visit time so we can anticipate potential crowding problems.

2023 Parks Mill/Stevens Creek Open House

Reservation form
  • Please enter a number from 1 to 4.
  • Enter the names and email addresses of everyone in your party.


There is a sizeable front porch on the Mill building with seating in case of rain. The site has good tree cover, so temperatures should be reasonably comfortable. Just remember that this is a site set aside to protect and preserve a magnificent native wildflower community and a wonderfully historic grist mill. Tread lightly, stay on trails and “pack-it-in-pack-it-out.”   Wading in the Creek is prohibited for the sake of personal safety, and for the protection of the Lilies. There is a trail from the Mill house to the Creekside to get good lily photo opportunities. However due to frequent high-water flows in the area adjacent to the Creek, exposed rocks and roots can make the footing very treacherous, so children and seniors must be extremely careful. (There is a project in the works to get a trail installed that will offer Creek views with much safer footing — stay tuned!)

We also strongly suggest that everyone wear long pants cuffed inside sturdy socks to ward off ticks.


To find the site, look for SC Highway 283 just east of Plum Branch in McCormick County. The site is on Stevens Creek, just downstream from the SC 283 Bridge over the Creek. The site entrance is directly across Hwy 283 from William Self Road and will be clearly highlighted by signage. Parking is along William Self Road. If anyone in your party is mobility-challenged, you may drive to the site, drop them off, and return to find parking along William Self Road.


All visitors will be required to sign a waiver form that holds The South Carolina Native Plant Society, Naturaland Trust, and Upper Savannah Land Trust all blameless in case of injury during these events.  

Launch of the Upstate Community Grants Program

The Upstate chapter has provided funding to Upstate organizations for more than 20 years for projects that help preserve and restore native plants and/or for the education of the Upstate community on the importance of the biodiversity in South Carolina, and the importance of our heritage native plants.

This year, we celebrate our 20th year of the Upstate Native Nursery plant sales that have provided funding for a wide variety of projects in pursuit of the SCNPS mission.  In recognition of this milestone, this year, we have formed an Upstate Grants Committee and are very pleased to announce the launch of our Community Grants Program.  Each year, we’ll be setting aside funding for special projects in the Upstate that align with our Mission. We’ve created an online application process to make grant requests easier and more streamlined.

Please visit our new Upstate Community Grants page on the SCNPS website to learn more about this new program and help us get the word out to the community for the inaugural grant invitation period opening March 15th through April 15th.

Thanks to all of you for your continuing support of the Upstate Native Nursery that makes this possible and we hope to see you at Conestee Park on April 15th for this year’s sale!

Reed Environmental Writing Awards Announced

On March 24 at 5 p.m. ET (in person or online), the winners of the 2023 Reed Awards will be honored. This year’s awardees, Corban Addison (on his book, “Wastelands: The True Story of Farm Country on Trial”) and Isabelle Chapman (on her CNN story, “Gambling ‘America’s Amazon’”) will speak.

Come help celebrate these extraordinary writers who brought attention to the polluting practices of industrial hog farming in rural North Carolina and concerns over toxic coal ash sitting on the banks of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta in Alabama. For more information, click HERE.


Greater Greenville Master Gardeners Annual Plant Sale

If the Upstate Sale hasn’t sated your need for new plants by then, the GGMGA will be holding their popular annual plant sale on Saturday April 29th at Jeff Lynch Appliances (17 Roper Mountain Rd, Greenville), from 8 am to noon, rain or shine! Hundreds of healthy plants will be available for sale at bargain prices, and Master Gardeners will be on hand to help you find the perfect plants for your yard. They will accept credit cards for purchases over $25 purchases as well as cash or checks. For more information, visit their website.

Upstate Chapter April Meeting: Trillium of the Carolinas

Our April meeting will feature Tim Lee, a longtime Interpretive Ranger at the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, which covers 11,000 acres of pristine southern mountain forest, encompassing Caesars Head State Park, Jones Gap State Park, and the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area. His presentation will be “Trillium of the Carolinas,” particularly apt since Trillium is a harbinger of Springtime and the Upstate is home to the greatest diversity anywhere of these beautiful native plants! The meeting will take place at the Landrum Depot in Landrum, S.C., and via Zoom.  

Join us at 6:30 for time to socialize, the meeting will start at 7:00.  Zoom link will be added to the event one week prior to the meeting.

To add this to your calendar: CLICK HERE

Friends of the Reedy River Spring Cleanup: Registration Open Now!

Planning is well under way for the FoRR’s 2023 Spring River Cleanup in April. Cleanup locations will have been announced by the time this newsletter comes out. There will be a registration cap for each cleanup site to ensure that no undue pressure is put on the river or other resources at any one location, so be sure to register before your preferred location fills up!

For more information, visit their website. And we’ll see you on the river in April!

Volunteer Spotlight Focus On: Judy Seeley

Judy Seeley is one of the most active and valued volunteers in the Upstate SCNPS. Having moved to the Upstate from Pennsylvania in the early “aughts,” Judy once didn’t know much about South Carolina’s native plants. But she joined SCNPS in 2010 and started (in her words) “learning from doing.” And she hasn’t stopped learning and doing since!

While serving on the Upstate SCNPS board in countless roles, the contributions she’s made to the organization have ranged from organizing field trips to leading plant sales. One of her favorite things is getting her hands dirty with the “Greenhouse Gang” at the Upstate Native Nursery, but she also loves tending the native plant garden at the Pickens County Museum. 

Even at home, she collects seeds to donate to the SCNPS nursery and pots up extra plants for the SCNPS Upstate plant sale. (Any given plant you buy at the upstate spring plant sale could very well have had its start in the Seeley backyard!)

Judy says one of the things she enjoys most about volunteering is getting to work with friendly, knowledgeable people who are willing to share their skills and expertise. And it’s obvious to anyone who’s met her that Judy is as much a people person as she is a plant person.

It’s an understatement to say that we are fortunate to have Judy as a member and leader of the Upstate chapter. If you’re considering volunteering with SCNPS, just follow her advice: 

“Don’t be intimidated! Just jump in! You don’t have to know everything to get started!” 

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!