Charleston County Parks Advanced Training and Interpretive Volunteer Opportunity

The Charleston County Parks teach marine science programs to hundreds of students every year. The agency relies on the help of many talented volunteers to assist park staff in giving children an enjoyable experience at the beach. Join us on March 23rd at Folly Beach County Park to learn a bit about our beach programs. We will pull a seine net, identify local fish and shells, and introduce you to volunteer opportunities with the Environmental Education Team.

The Environmental Education Team will accept 10 participants on the CMNA Sign-Up-Genius (look for this in the next few days) OR sign up online at this link.

This will count towards an hour of advanced training!


Marine Debris Volunteer Training!

Are you interested in learning more about marine debris issues such as abandoned vessels and ghost crab traps? Want to understand how to use technologies to report abandoned vessels and other marine debris items you find? Would you like to volunteer during our Clean Marine Disposal Event on April 24-26th in Charleston County that will target unwanted boating and fishing gear? If you answered “yes”, then join the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control-Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management and community partners for a volunteer training on March 12th from 3 PM – 7 PM at the Marine Resources Division of the Department of Natural Resources. 

The training is FREE but you must register by March 6th.  To learn more about the volunteer training and to register, please see the attached flyer or visit our website: You can also friend us on Facebook and receive updates! Questions? Contact EV Bell at


Volunteer Opportunities at Summers Corner

The defining piece of Summers Corner, a master planned community in Summerville, is the landscape. Nature will be on display. Our goal for the parks and gardens embedded within this first phase of Summers Corner is to observe and share with the general public and Summers Corner residents the transformation of new habitats from pine forest to a wide variety of landscapes by incorporating educational program offerings, wildlife tours and bird watching activities. The Summers Corner team has been working with its partners to create natural habitat parks and gardens that incorporate native plants and diverse landscapes that allow for wildlife to thrive. One of the natural wildlife focal points for this project are birds. We hope to attract various species throughout the entire community. Some of the types of landscapes included in the project are:

  • Upland mixed forest
  • Longleaf pine meadow
  • Cypress pond pine Savanna
  • Carolina bays
  • Bottomland hardwoods
  • Pine grass meadow understory
  • Bottomlands

Duties: Summers Corner is currently seeking Master Naturalist(s) who would like to participate through volunteer efforts to become part of the initial stages of this project and eventual grow with it as it evolves and matures. Volunteer opportunities would include:

  • Working with the Summers Corner team to provide guidance/input on optimal bird box locations for cavity nesters and optimal roosting locations within the designated areas.
  • Providing guidance/input on a sustainable maintinance plan for birdhouses, boxes and roosting environments.
  • Work with the Summers Corner team to create and administer ongoing educational experiences focused on habitat and birds for school aged children and the general public.
  • Willing to explore additional opportunities that may develop as the project evolves.

Interested parties should contact Terry Freeman via email at

Please include a resume, previous related volunteer experience and a brief statement on why this volunteer opportunity is of interest to you.


Volunteer Opportunities at Rosebrock Park

An invitation from Eric Davis, Director of Dorchester County Parks and Recreation…..

I am the new Director of the newly established Dorchester County Parks and Recreation Department (and a former Master Naturalist – I completed the Upstate MN course a few years back). We currently are planning for a large park system, but only have one open park at this time – Rosebrock Park, which is a nature trail and conservation area on the Ashley River in Dorchester County.

While we are working on building our park system, we also are hoping to establish a basic level of volunteer programming at Rosebrock Park. We are currently working with volunteers to offer programming in the spring such as a Geocaching 101 course and bird walks provided by Beidler Forest staff. I’m hoping some of your members might be interested in knocking out some of their volunteer hours by leading some type of walk/talk/workshop/etc in the park. There are a wide range of themes such as wetlands, bottomland forest, man’s impact on the landscape, salt/freshwater estuaries, tree/plant ID, animal inhabitants, etc.

If anyone might be interested, they can contact me via email or call (843)563-0193 .

Best regards,

Eric Davis
Director of Parks and Recreation
Dorchester County, SC
201 Johnston St., St. George, SC 29477


Name tags at Caw Caw

Any one that turned in a name tag at the Pot luck in January, they have been returned to Caw Caw for your pick up. Jewels are earned in a calendar year. You have to have a minimum of 30 hours, 8 in advanced training to qualify for a jewel. Even though you may not have earned a jewel or – Horrors! – not want one, it is Very Important to record your volunteer hours in the state data base. This is what enables our wonderful program to continue to exist. If you qualify for a jewel for 2014, turn your name tag in at Caw Caw and I will apply the jewel and return it there. Cindy Ashley.

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 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 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  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!