Coastal Master Naturalists...

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!


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 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

Bulls Bay Nature Festival ~ Saturday May 16th 2015

Get outside! Bulls Bay community agencies, organizations, businesses, and churches come together once again to bring you the 3rd annual Bulls Bay Nature Festival – From the Forest to the Sea. Festival events and activities will happen in the Francis Marion National Forest, on Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, Hampton Plantation State Historic Site,the Sewee Visitor Center and Bishop Jerden Conference Center.

The mission of the Bulls Bay Nature Festival – From the Forest to the Sea is to increase awareness, promote engagement and foster lasting connections with our unique natural places and wildlife in the Bulls Bay community.

Check out the Detailed Information for Activities to see what’s coming to you on May the 16th! Be sure to visit the Bulls Bay Nature Festival website to Register. Space is limited for many activities so don’t delay in your registration. Also visit our Festival Facebook page at!




Cogongrass Workshop May 7th 2015 10am-2:30pm

You’re invited to attend a cogongrass workshop to learn more about the status of this invasive plant in South Carolina.  Cogongrass is the worst invasive plant in the Southeast with the potential to devastate our natural forests. Cogongrass is listed as a federal noxious weed and has spread throughout the Southeastern United States.  Luckily it hasn’t spread widely in SC yet.  Let’s keep it that way!


Sewee Visitor and Environmental Education Center / 5821 N Highway 17 / Awendaw, SC 29429

Free, lunch provided by SC Exotic Pest Plant Council

SCExotic Pest

Please register by April 30th by contacting

Click the link below for a flyer that can allow for you to help spread the good word too!


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!


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!


SCNPS Bog Gardening Workshop

The Lowcountry Chapter of the SC Native Plant Society will be hosting a Bog Gardening Workshop on Saturday, April 12, from 10 am – noon.  (Location will be at the Clemson Coastal Research & Education Center “Ed Shed,” 2865 Savannah Hwy).  Tony Bertauski, horticultural instructor at Trident Tech and columnist for the Post & Courier, will lead the workshop.  Come learn about the plants and techniques for gardening in wet soils, and get your hands dirty making your own container bog garden to take home.  Registration is limited to 25 people and there is a $25 fee.  To sign up, contact Katie Ellis at or 906-9916).  First come, first served.

Bog dragonfly

DNR Spring 2014 Coastal Exploration Series Calendar

View the Spring 2014 Coastal Exploration Series calendar (PDF) – Registration will open 30 days prior to each event.  Place your name on the list by clicking on the registration link beside your  desired event below. This does not guarantee your registration! Due to the nature of their offerings, spaces are limited and they are continually striving to maintain a fair system that also encourages first time participants. You will be notified at least one week in advance of the event of  your registration status. Please contact Lauton Sutley with any questions regarding the Coastal Exploration Series.

Feel free to visit DNR’s website for even more information!


2014 Project SORT Marine Debris

Teacher Workshop Savannah Georgia

Where: University of Georgia Marine Extension Service, Skidaway Island, Savannah, Georgia

When: Monday, July 7 (starting at 8:30 AM) through Thursday, July 10 (ending at 12 PM), 2014Who to contact: Dodie Sanders (912) 598-2340; for registration form.

Fee: $50 per person

More about the workshop: The Project SORT Marine Debris Teacher Workshop, funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Program, will be held on Monday July 7th through Thursday, July 10th (until noon). Interspersed with presentations given by research scientists on current marine debris topics are hands-on learning sessions that will take place in the lab and out in the field. Educational materials to enhance what you are already teaching will be provided. Marine debris topics will include types, sources, movements, micro plastics and conservation measures. A boat excursion to nearby Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge to conduct a marine debris shoreline survey will be a highlight!

Visit this link for more details!

Marine Debris