Volunteer Opportunities next weekend!

Buy Local Block Party – November 21 | 11 AM – 5 PM

We’re looking for energetic and outgoing volunteers to help at the Buy Local Block Party on Saturday November 21! Our office will be open to the public during the event, from 11 AM until 5 PM. Volunteers will help sell merchandise and educate folks about Charleston Waterkeeper’s mission and programmatic efforts!

Share Fair – November 21 | 9 AM – 4 PM

CharlestonGOOD is seeking grateful volunteers to help at the Share Fair on Saturday November 21! The Share Fair will take place from 9 AM – 4 PM in North Charleston at 2723 Carner Avenue. If interested, please email charlestongood@gmail.com to sign up for a shift: Set Up (8 AM – 10 AM), Extra Hands (10 AM – 12 PM, 1 PM – 3 PM), Break Down (3 PM – 5 PM).

Ashley River Cleanup – November 21 | 9 AM – 11 AM

You’re invited to join the College of Charleston Waterkeeper Club for a cleanup on the Ashley River! They will meet at Brittlebank Park on Saturday November 21 at 9 AM and clean until 11 AM. Please wear closed toed shoes and clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. Cleanup materials will be provided. If you have any questions, please mail cofcclub@charlestonwaterkeeper.org.


Charleston County Park’s Junior Naturalists Graduate!

Thank you to the Coastal Master Naturalist Association for once again providing a scholarship for the County Park’s Junior Naturalist Class. Your generosity allowed a child to participate in all nine classes and provided access to the natural world in a fun and meaningful way. Many of the lessons the children learn are similar to topics covered in the Master Naturalist class. Some highlights from this year include calling in barred owls during a night hike a Caw Caw, catching fish in a seine net at Beachwalker, learning about phytoplankton and getting messy in pluff mud at Palmetto Islands County Park. It’s truly a pleasure to teach and learn from the participants in the Junior Naturalist class. They have a passion for the natural world that is irrepressible and contagious. The Association’s support does make a difference in the life of one of these young people. Thank you for nurturing the next generation of naturalists.

~ Beth Burkett  ~Environmental Education Coordinator for Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission

Fall 2015 JRNAT

Photo: Junior Naturalist graduates proudly display certificates of achievement  

Certified Interpretive Guide Workshop ~ February 2-5, 2016

The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission, in partnership with the National Association for Interpretation, is offering a professional certification course for individuals who will be delivering interpretive programs or having public contact at interpretive sites.  The Certified Interpretive Guide program is designed for anyone who delivers interpretive programs to the public. It combines both the theoretical foundations of the profession with practical skills in delivering quality interpretive programming to visitors. This 32-hour course includes:

  • history, definition, and principles of interpretation
  • making your programs purposeful, enjoyable, relevant, organized, and thematic
  • using tangible objects to connect audiences to intangible ideas and universal concepts in interpretive programs
  • presentation and communication skills
  • certification requirements (open book exam; program outline; 10-min. presentation)
  • all materials, workbook, and CIG course textbook

For more details visit this link!


Native Plant Sale this Saturday October 24th 9am-12pm

Come shop and get your fall planting started! They have a great selection of native plants with many hard-to-find species… colorful perennials, shrubs, trees, grasses, ferns and edibles. Cash, check, or credit card accepted.  Admission to the plant sale is free. If you wish to explore Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site, please pay admission in the visitor’s center. Please check out this link where you will find plant lists!



Francis Marion National Forest Needs your input!

Did you know that you can help plan the FMN Forest’s future?? Visit this web page that serves as a one-stop resource for information associated with the plan revision process.

The second public meeting is scheduled for October 27 at the Sewee Vistor and Environmental Center located at 5821 US Highway 17 North, Awendaw, SC 29429.  This working meeting runs from 10 am to 3 pm and lunch is provided. To make this meeting useful to you, please email your topics (please be specific) that you would like to discuss at this meeting.  While registration is not required, it will help them know how many lunches are needed if you plan to attend. Please email this link or call 803-561-4000 to offer topics and/or to register!


Volunteers Needed for Young Naturalist’s Club on Edisto Island!

The Edisto Island Open Land Trust is looking for adults to assist with the Young Naturalist’s Club, an after school program for third, fourth and fifth graders attending Jane Edwards Elementary School. The club meets once a month on Wednesdays. They explore different habitats on Edisto Island and learn to identify common plants and animals. Each session takes about two hours, which includes transportation time to and from the program site. Volunteers must enjoy working with children and be willing to familiarize themselves with the lesson plan and some background information prior to each session, which will be provided the week before. You will need to pass a criminal background check and complete an online training. We prefer volunteers who can commit to two or more sessions and who can transport students in their personal vehicles, although transporting students is not required to volunteer. Program dates: 10/28, 11/18, 1/20, 2/24, 3/16, 4/27, 5/18.

Please email Abi Locatis Prochaska at land@edisto.org or call (843) 869-9004 if interested!

Jane Edwards



Fall 2015 Junior Naturalist Program and Scholarship Announcement

Do you know a child between the ages of 8 and 12 who loves nature? If so, check out the Jr. Naturalist program. This course combines nature exploration with art and science and makes learning about the outdoors both fun and meaningful. This year the Coastal Master Naturalist Association is funding a scholarship that will cover the cost of all 9 classes! For more information or to apply for the scholarship click on this link to visit the Junior Naturalist page on the Charleston County Park’s website.

Jr graduation

Barry Lopez ~ Premier Nature Writer ~ September 10th 2015

The Avian Conservation Center/Center for Birds of Prey is honored to host the nation’s premier natural history writer, Barry Lopez, for the author’s first visit to Charleston. Readers of Barry Lopez praise his unparalleled insight into the natural world and all its residents, expressed in a tone of spellbinding intimacy

Barry Lopez is best known as the author of Arctic Dreams, for which he received the National Book Award. Among his other nonfiction books are About This Life and Of Wolves and Men, which was a National Book Award finalist. He is also the author of several award-winning works of fiction, including Field Notes, Winter Count, and a novella-length fable, Crow and Weasel. All of his works reflect a life of travel and cultural inquiry that has taken him to nearly seventy countries. Barry Lopez has, in his own words, “an unquenchable desire to immerse myself in landscapes still owned by their resident animals.”

Robert Mcfarlane of the San Francisco Guardian says of Lopez’ work, it’s “as though Lopez has gripped you by the shoulder and pressed binoculars to your eyes.” He speaks on the topics of stewardship, philosophy, and morality as they pertain to nature and humanity. Mcfarlane describes Lopez’ viewpoint eloquently saying, “the stern curve of a mountain slope, a nest of wet stones on a beach, the bent trunk of a wind-blown tree: these abstract shapes can call out in us a goodness we might not have known we possessed.”

The program will run from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 10, 2015 at the Charleston Museum located at 360 Meeting Street and includes the presentation and a reception and book signing with the author. Admission is $20 per person, $10 for students with a valid ID. Space is limited and advanced ticket purchase is recommended. Reservations can be made at this link online or by calling 843.971.7474



Volunteers are needed to help with Monarch Butterfly Research along the SC Coast!

There is a research project on wintering monarchs developing and your volunteer assistance is needed to make it happen!! The project will require volunteer citizen scientists who can help with tagging monarchs (and/or recovery of tagged monarchs) and will be accomplished through cooperation between the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Billy McCord with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR).

Wintering behavior by monarchs likely occurs all along the southern section of the SC coast, beginning around McClellanville. Coastal communities typically provide enough trees and cover for the monarchs to use them during the cooler months as protected roosting sites when weather is not appropriate for butterfly activity.

McCord needs several volunteers to help tag (and find recovery tagged monarchs) at sites along the central SC coast. McCord is hopeful to have as many as 16 tagging sites established for this study. This means there is a call for volunteers to work as teams or individually – from as far south as Edisto Beach to as far north as McClellanville. Other sites within the study area could include Kiawah, Seabrook Island, Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms. The hope is that volunteers live at, or very near, these sites. This is also a perfect combination of an experience that will count towards advanced training hours (initially) and then volunteer hours!! Win-win!!

Tagging may begin as early as the second half of November and extend though the spring. McCord will arrange at least one training session towards the end of October or early November on how to properly handle and tag monarchs. The project will also supply tags, tagging platforms, glassine envelopes in which to stash monarchs before tagging, and butterfly nets.

Please email Billy McCord at mccordb@dnr.sc.gov for more information. Also, please do not hesitate to share this information with anyone who lives in these areas that you think might be interested in helping with this very important research project!


Certified Interpretive Host Training Workshop August 13th and 14th 2015

The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission, in partnership with the National Association for Interpretation, is offering a professional certification course for individuals who have public contact at interpretive sites. The Certified Interpretive Host program is designed for new hires, seasonals, docents/volunteers, maintenance workers, receptionists, law enforcement or anyone who has public contact but does not deliver interpretive programs to the public. It covers the basics of interpretation, customer service and hospitality, and using informal interpretation to support the agency mission.

This 16-hour course includes:

  • History, definition, and principles of interpretation
  • How to provide great customer service
  • Hospitality and communication skills
  • NAI Certification requirements (open book exam; video exam)
  • All materials and workbook

For more information please visit this link!


Photo by Keith McCullough