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Upstate SCNPS Grants Program: Supporting Native Plant Projects

Posted on by Jesse Freeman (Upstate)

Photo Credit: DALL-E\Jesse Freeman

The Upstate Chapter of the South Carolina Native Plant Society is proud to announce the recipients of its Grants Program so far this year. Each grant supports initiatives aimed at promoting native plant conservation and education. Below is a summary of the awarded projects:


Seven Springs Farm ($1,000)

Project: Pickens County Plant Jubilee

Seven Springs Farm organized Pickens County’s first native plant festival. The event included speakers, demonstrations, arts and crafts vendors, and native plant vendors. The festival aimed to spread knowledge about native plants and their benefits to local ecosystems, pollinators, and wildlife. By highlighting the superiority of native plants over invasive species, the festival hoped to inspire continued learning and support for native plant conservation.


Town of Six Mile ($1,000)

Project: Downtown Park & Pavilion

This project focused on landscaping the Downtown Park using a variety of native plants beneficial to pollinators and wildlife. Species included American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana), buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii), and more. Grant funds were also allocated for educational signage explaining the advantages of native plants. The initial phase involved planting around the pavilion, with future plans to landscape additional areas of the park.


Camp Mary Elizabeth ($1,000)

Project: Camp Mary Elizabeth Wildflower Revitalization Project

Camp Mary Elizabeth aimed to revitalize a section of its trail system along Holston Creek by adding identification markers for various native plants, including some rare species. The project sought to educate visitors about native plants and inspire appreciation for the natural environment. Notable species in the area include dwarf crested iris (Iris cristata), beautyberries (Callicarpa spp.), and Oconee bells (Shortia galacifolia).


Lakeview Middle School PTO ($800)

Project: Lakeview Middle School

This initiative aimed to educate middle school students and their parents about the importance of native plants. By beautifying a space with native species, the project hoped to instill a sense of environmental responsibility and accountability in the students.


GUUF / UU World of Children ($925)

Project: Restore a Pollinator Garden

The project focused on revitalizing a neglected pollinator garden at the front of the school. Volunteers planned to plant and maintain the garden, aiming to educate and restore the environment with native plants that support local ecosystems.


Chattooga Conservancy ($1,000)

Project: Chattooga Stewardship Initiative – Kudzu Cleanup

The Chattooga Conservancy targeted a kudzu-infested area along the Chattooga River in Sumter National Forest. The project involved two volunteer days dedicated to controlling and ideally eradicating kudzu. The primary goal was to prevent the spread of kudzu downstream, thereby protecting the diverse native plant species in the area.


Sans Souci Neighborhood Alliance ($1,000)

Project: Verner Springs Park Landscaping & Stream Restoration

This project aimed to rehabilitate Verner Springs Park by removing invasive species, preventing erosion, and establishing pollinator habitats. Educational signage and water quality monitoring were also included. The park, serving a broad community, was to be transformed into a vibrant, ecologically diverse space for families to explore and learn.


Friends of the Green Crescent Trail ($1,000)

Project: Native Plant Pollinator Garden

This initiative planned to install a 230-square-foot native plant pollinator garden along the Green Crescent Trail. The garden would feature educational signage and labeled plants, showcasing the benefits of native species for pollinators, birds, and small mammals. QR codes linking to further resources were included to encourage public engagement and stewardship.


Green Charter Elementary School ($675)

Project: Green Garden

The Green Garden project aimed to create a native plant habitat in the school’s central courtyard. Objectives included improving soil health, providing habitats for pollinators and birds, and offering STEM-focused learning opportunities. Students would participate actively in the garden’s establishment and maintenance, with interactive signs and QR codes facilitating educational experiences.


Congratulations to All Recipients

The Upstate Chapter of the SCNPS extends heartfelt congratulations to all the grant recipients! We are excited to see the positive impacts these projects will have on local ecosystems and communities. By supporting these initiatives, we continue to promote the importance of native plant conservation and environmental education across South Carolina. Keep up the fantastic work, and thank you for your dedication to preserving our natural heritage.