Volunteer Needs at Roxbury Park in Megget, SC

Ken Carman is looking for volunteers to assist with ongoing activities at Roxbury Park in Megget, SC. Throughout certain areas of the park, Ken has prized perennials (pollinator attractors) that will be either mowed, burned, and/or sprayed. He is in the process of transplanting them, but the scope of the project is more than one person can handle. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of Sea Ox-eye Daisies that grow in the path around the big pond, as well as in the lawn around the cottage. These areas are mowed seasonally, and the plants do not get a chance to bloom. He also has hundreds of a variety of Aster growing in two portions of a hay field. Not only does he want to “rescue” them form future burns and/or spraying, but he also wants to plant them in beds so that they can be mulched, and grow without competition.

The nature of the work is fairly easy, it is the volume that is overwhelming. This could be a group outing, and/or individuals could come out at their convenience. BTW, volunteers would be welcome to dig up and take some small cedar trees if anyone had interest.

Also on Monday, February 16th, Roxbury Park is holding their annual bird count. With the completion of the new bridge and boardwalk, the addition of brush piles and perches in the hay field, and a 1:30 PM low tide, this year promises to be even better than last year. Open this link (2015 Bird Count)  to learn more about the plans.  Just like last year, this will be an all-day event, but they are looking for participants to be there for one time slot. If you are able and decide to stay for more of the day, that is great, but not what they are expecting.

Feel free to contact Ken Carman at (843)303-8613 or email kcthetc1@yahoo.com with questions.


Become a Frog Watcher!

FrogWatch USA™ is a citizen science program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). FROGZ are the FrogWatch Researchers of Greenville Zoo Chapter in Greenville, South Carolina.

Volunteers of FrogWatch USA can help scientists understand which frogs and toads may be increasingly common or in decline throughout the United States. It is estimated that at least one-third of known amphibian species are threatened with extinction. You can be directly involved in gathering information that may help stop the decline of these important and treasured animals.

FrogWatch USA volunteers learn to identify local frog and toad species by their calls during the breeding season and how to report their findings accurately. By mastering these skills, volunteers gain increased experience and control over asking and answering scientific questions which, in turn, augments science literacy, facilitates conservation action and stewardship, and increases knowledge of amphibians. Volunteers register a wetland site and make multiple evening visits from February through August to collect data on the calls of frogs and toads. Participating individuals and families learn about the wetlands in their communities and help conserve amphibians.

To become part of FrogWatch, you’ll need to fill out an application and attend one of their training sessions. Visit this site for more information and to download the application!


Help Identify Invasive Phragmites in the ACE!

Invasive Phragmites (Common Reed) are easy to identify in winter!

Winter Phragmites

Phragmites plants remain erect through the winter if not disturbed. The stems, leaves, and seeds are light brown. Most of the seeds remain on the plant. Typically, the seeds are on one side of the plant when found in the marsh (in the direction of the prevailing wind.)

Phragmites australis, typically known as Phragmites (pronounced frag-my-tees) , is an invasive aquatic grass. There are known populations in the ACE Basin, but the distribution currently is limited. The ACE Basin Task Force is attempting to document the locations of Phragmites in the ACE Basin to develop a plan for treating this destructive, invasive plant.

Please report locations of Phragmites in the ACE Basin to jason_ayers@fws.gov or call 843-300-0421.

Please click on this link to see a flyer about the project! ACE Basin Phrag

Get Involved with a Christmas Bird Count!!

The 115th Christmas Bird Count will be conducted from Sunday, December 14, 2014 through Monday, January 5, 2015. Since the Christmas Bird count began over a century ago, it has relied on the dedication and commitment of volunteers like you. Please visit this link to learn more.

There are lots of counts that will take place in the Charleston area. Please visit here for a searchable map view of the circles that are expected to be run in the 115th CBC. Also, a little birdie told us that the 2014 Four Holes Swamp Christmas Bird Count will be held on Monday, December 15th and they are looking for some more eyes on the skies. If you are interested in participating in this count, please call Matt Johnson, the Education Manager at 843-462-2150 or e-mail mgjohnson@audubon.org  by Friday, December 12th. The more volunteers that they can enlist, the greater the coverage they can provide to their count area. It is a wonderful way to get time outdoors and volunteer hours!


Become a Certified Interpretive Guide

The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission’s Interpretive team members are gearing up to offer a workshop to become a Certified Interpretive Guide, February 2nd – 5th 2015.

If you work (or would like to work) at nature centers, zoos, museums etc. helping visitors connect with our natural or cultural heritage this 32 – hour course is for you! The National Association for Interpretation (NAI) offers a professional certification program to recognize individuals who exhibit knowledge and skills necessary to assure quality interpretive services to all audiences. The Certified Interpretive Guide program is one level in that program. The goal of the CIG program is to provide consistent, high quality training for staff and volunteers who had little or no opportunity to learn about interpretation or who want a refresher course on the basics of presenting interpretive programs. *

The National Association for Interpretation (NAI) Certified Interpretive Guide training will help you gain skills and become more confident in creating and presenting programs, hikes and other presentations. You will find new ways to inspire others to learn more and care more for resources you cherish.

Who should attend?

  • Volunteers and docents who lack experience or education background in the field of interpretation.
  • Students or others who are interested in pursuing a career in interpretation
  • Contract teachers in natural or cultural history programming
  • Newly hired full-time or part-time interpreters, long time interpreters with no formal interpretive training.

Feel free to visit these sites for more details…….

National Assocation for Interpretation

Charleston County Parks Go OnlineNAI

*The interpretation training to become a SC Statewide Master Naturalist is a one day session that is a lot less comprehensive than this, however, this would certainly suffice to cover that training requirement and then some!


Volunteer at Resource Recovery Tents for the Charleston County Park’s Holiday Festival of Lights!

Charleston County Parks is always trying to leave as small of an ecological footprint as possible during their events. With the help of many volunteers, helpful patrons and Food Waste Disposal, LLC, nearly all of the waste produced from the food and beverage vendors at the 2014 Lowcountry Cajun Festival was either recycled or composted. An estimated 1,175 pounds of waste was composted and 160 pounds was recycled. This also translates into 91.4% of the waste produced at this festival being diverted from the landfill! How was this accomplished you might ask? Throughout the festival grounds, tents called “Resource and Recovery” stations were on site, where guests deposited their waste. Under these tents, conscientious volunteers helped sort waste products into recyclables, compostables, and waste for the landfill, the latter of which was kept to an extreme minimum.

Resource and Recovery tents are now on site at most of CCPRC’s large events in support of the agency’s environmental stewardship initiatives and they are launching these tents for the first time at the Holiday Festival of Lights which just officially began! They are looking for volunteers to assist and this would be a neat way to gather some volunteer hours!

Dates that are needed are as follows…… – Friday, Nov 28th (need 3)

– Saturday, Nov 29th (need 3)

– Friday, Dec 5th (need 2)

– Saturday, Dec 6th (need 2)

– Friday, Dec 12th (need 3)

– Saturday, Dec 13th (need 1)

– Friday, Dec 19th (need 2)

– Saturday, Dec 20th (need 1)

– Sunday, Dec 21st thru Saturday, Dec 27th *excluding xmas day* (need 3 volunteers each of these nights)

– Sunday, Dec 28th (need 1)

All shifts begin at 5:00pm and end at 11:00pm Fridays & Saturdays; end at 10:30pm Sunday-Thursday.

Here is the link to the posting on our volunteer site for more info:  http://app.volunteer2.com/Public/Organization/991bce56-77bc-4375-a3e9-a1b156683961/Activity/a92f1eaf-c3da-4c51-b10f-5bc4d38b2901

Please contact Sarah Giles, CCPRC Stewardship Aide, with any questions at sgiles@ccprc.com.


Oct. 25 Butterfly Walk Cancelled

Due to lack of interest, the Caw Caw Butterfly Walk, which was scheduled for 10/25, will be cancelled.

Amanda Szwarc

Environmental Educator & Butterfly House Curator
Cypress Gardens
(P) 843.553.0515
3030 Cypress Gardens Rd
Moncks Corner, SC

Volunteers needed for Red – Cockaded Woodpecker Identification!

Red-cockaded Woodpecker (RCW) volunteers needed!

Volunteers needed to help identify red-cockaded woodpecker juveniles as they enter their roost cavities in the evening in Francis Marion National Forest. The birds enter their cavities for the evening about ½ hour before sunset. Currently (10/7) they are going in the cavities around 6:00 to 6:40 p.m. Times will change as the sun sets earlier. Locations are mostly near McClellanville but there are locations along Halfway Creek Road and in the Cain Hoy/Green Bay area (Hoover Road).

This is part of a project to reintroduce/ relocate banded juvenile red-cockaded woodpeckers (a federally endangered species) to the ACE Basin. We plan to capture 20 juveniles the first week of November and I need to identify approximately 40 roost trees prior to the capture night. I need help in identifying leg bands on RCWs in the evening when they roost. No experience is necessary, but you will be standing in the forest, with some mosquitoes, and may only catch a quick glimpse of a RCW at dusk as they enter their cavity. Personal transportation, spotting scope, some prior bird watching experience and commitment to a few evenings are preferred.

Please contact Larry Wood if you are interested.
Larry Wood

Larry Wood
Wildlife Investigations, LLC
10033 S Carolina RD
McClellanville, SC 29458

Next Butterfly Walk on October 25

We will be having a Butterfly Walk on Saturday, October 25 at Caw Caw interpretive center. Chet Morse from Caw Caw will come along with us on the walk.
Caw Caw Interpretive Center is located on Savannah Highway: 5200 Savannah Hwy, Ravenel, SC
It’s very beautiful out there and should make a good walk spot!

Admission is $1/person.

We will meet at 9 am. Please bring your own binoculars and field guide. Also remember a water bottle!

I will be unable to attend due to work constraints. If you are a seasoned butterflier and would like to help lead this walk, please email me and let me know.

Thank you all,

Amanda Szwarc

Environmental Educator & Butterfly House Curator
Cypress Gardens
(P) 843.553.0515

Want to Volunteer with Butterflies?

Cypress Gardens is looking for a few flexible and reliable volunteers to help in their butterfly garden. Volunteers are needed to help clean and interact with the public. This is a great chance to get up and close to those butterflies! If interested, contact Amanda Szwarc
Aszwarc@berkeleycountysc.gov 843-553-0515