plants make Lowcountry more beautiful, naturally
President, Lowcountry chapter, S.C. Native Plant Society
Special to CharlestonCurrents.com
16, 2009 -- As we work toward creating a beautifully landscaped
yard, how many of us take the time to consider the flowers, shrubs
and trees we are planting beyond the ornamental qualities they provide?
Is it invasive, exotic or a native food plant for wildlife? We all
have a responsibility to make sure what we put in the ground will
be good for our environment, however suburban that environment may
be. The S.C. Native Plant Society is a nonprofit group whose mission
is to educate people about the importance of native plants.
are five chapters of the Native Plant Society across the state,
and each one is different in terms of the programs it provides to
the public. The Lowcountry chapter holds lecture meetings the third
Tuesday of each month (September through May) at The Citadel's Biology
Auditorium. We also offer monthly field trips or workshops on the
Saturday following our lecture meetings. Whether you're an outdoor
enthusiast or a backyard gardener, you'll find something of interest
among the many different programs about native Lowcountry plants.
members participate as volunteers to help organize our programs,
and we certainly couldn't do it without them. One of our largest
events is our annual native plant sale, held at Charles Towne Landing
each spring. Many volunteers are needed to unload plants, prepare
tags and signs, and handle sales.
S.C. Native Plant Society's annual Native Plant Sale.
When: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.
Where: Charles Towne Landing, 1500 Old Towne Road, west
of the Ashley.
Details: More than 100 native plant species will be on
sale, and NPS member Jeff Jackson will give a bog garden demonstration
at 10 a.m. See a species
is our biggest fundraiser, allowing the Lowcountry chapter to offer
small grants to the public for native plant work in the community.
Our next sale will be held April 18 at Charles Towne Landing
native vegetation has several benefits. Native Lowcountry plants
are already adapted to the South's hot and humid climate, so they
require less attention and watering than exotic plant species. Countless
native plant species are a beneficial food source for local wildlife,
including butterflies and birds. Natives can also be aesthetically
pleasing to the eye and symbolic of the Charleston area (i.e., palmetto
trees, Southern magnolias and sweetgrass).
exotic species that we plant can be considered "invasive,"
meaning they not only don't belong in this particular habitat, but
they can be problematic (i.e., Chinese tallow or popcorn tree, Japanese
honeysuckle, and Chinese privet). Invasive plants out-compete native
plants, spreading over areas at a rapid rate. To learn more about
South Carolina's worst invasive plants, visit the South
Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council Web site.
Helianthus angustifolius, commonly called swamp sunflower,
is one of the plants expected to be available at the S.C.
Native Plant Society's annual spring sale on Saturday.
great source for identifying native species in South Carolina is
"A Guide to the Wildflowers of South Carolina," by Richard
Porcher and Doug Rayner. This book contains not only perennial wildflowers
but also trees, shrubs and vines, and describes the typical habitats
they are located within. Some examples of beneficial perennials
include horse mint (Monarda punctata), goldenrod (Solidago
species) and Indian pink (Spigelia marilandica). In the
shrub category, beauty berry (Callicarpa americana), Virginia
willow (Itea virginica) and inkberry (Ilex glabra)
are pleasant additions to a landscape. Beneficial trees include
redbud (Cercis canadensis), red buckeye (Aesculus pavia)
and river birch (Betula nigra). Some native vines beneficial
to wildlife include coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)
and yellow jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens).
to learn more about the programs offered by the Lowcountry Chapter
of the S.C. Native Plant Society and obtain general information
about native plants.
DeGarady is president of the Lowcountry chapter of the S.C. Native
deserves praise for earning national honor
ANN THRASH, editor
16, 2009 -- If the last time you went to a public library all it
had was books, you need to get over to your nearest branch and check
it out, pun intended - especially now that we have a nationally
honored library system in our midst.
Journal, the oldest and most respected publication in the library
biz, recently chose the Charleston County Public Library system
as one of the best systems in the nation. [Read
news release.] The journal's first-ever study evaluated
7,115 public libraries, comparing systems with similar operating
budgets and rating them in four categories: number of visitors,
circulation, program attendance, and public Internet computer use.
Our own CCPL was awarded a star in the index, meaning that it is
in the top 3 percent of systems nationwide.
a community resource, not a vault with books that are kept under
lock and key," says Cynthia Bledsoe, the library's acting director.
"From computer training and entertainment events to homework
help and finding the most recent book or DVD, libraries provide
residents with essential services and information. Library Journal's
star rating is a reflection of how Charleston County residents have
embraced the library and understand its importance as a vital cornerstone
in the community. We're proud of our rating and of the support from
a letter earlier this week to CharlestonCurrents.com and other local
media, Bledsoe, library Board of Trustees Chairman R. Patrick Flynn
and Friends of the Library President Sharon M. Harvey offered a
big thank-you to Charleston County residents for making the library
system busier than ever. The increase in patronage is due in no
small part to the recession, they say. People finally seem to be
realizing how many different services and programs the library offers
for free. There are free videos to borrow, free computer classes,
free activities for kids, free help researching anything from a
grade-school term paper to the cost of living in another part of
the country where you want to relocate for a new job, free advice
on starting a business, and free arts and cultural displays. And
that's really just the tip of the iceberg.
can even patronize the library "virtually" these days
via its Web site.
For example, you can search the catalogs, reserve items from the
library's collection, and make arrangements to have material transferred
to your neighborhood branch so it's more convenient to pick up.
this for the price of a library card -- which, if you didn't know,
is no price at all. That's right, library cards are free to all
Charleston County residents and business and property owners. Part-time
residents, such as students and members of the military, are eligible
for library cards, too.
announcing the Library Journal honor, local officials noted that
a 2007 comparison by the S.C. State Library found that the Charleston
County system was the busiest in the state -- tops in circulation,
patron visits, programs offered, program attendance, reference transactions,
public Internet computers and number of branches. More than 2 million
patrons visited CCPL branches in the most recent budget year. Nearly
1.93 million reference questions were answered, and approximately
147,500 people attended more than 4,700 library programs.
to everyone at the library who's been part of this success story
- and here's hoping that once the economic skies clear, people will
remember all that the library has to offer and continue to patronize
it just as enthusiastically.
is editor of CharlestonCurrents.com. She can be reached at: email@example.com
Bank emphasizing benefits of home vegetable gardening
truly enjoyed reading your
article today in Charleston Currents. As you may know, we have
an aggressive goal to ensure that 60 percent of the food we distribute
from our Food Bank be considered healthy food. In our efforts to
encourage healthy eating, we have started providing nutrition education
classes, and creating community garden projects. Since we live in
a community where many of our clients suffer from high rates of
obesity, high-blood pressure and hypertension, we feel a tremendous
responsibility to provide a healthy choice to our clients. Thank
you for raising awareness of the importance of growing our own food.
Jermaine Husser, Executive Director, Lowcountry Food Bank, Charleston,
when you do that spring cleaning
More than 200 people tossed balls at the cool new dunking
tank, co-sponored by CharlestonCurrenets, during the first
four days of the RiverDog's new season. (Photo provided.)
cleaning will have new meaning this year as people tighten their
budgets to save money during this tough economic time. Donations
of gently-used clothing and household goods have softened in recent
months, and Goodwill needs those donations to fund the critical
job training programs and career placement services that we offer
to the community.
the community donates unused goods, Goodwill is able to provide
hope to the homeless, dignity to the disabled and strength to those
who are struggling through training and employment opportunities.
Over 90 percent of revenues generated from the sale of donated items
go directly toward funding the mission of helping people achieve
their full potential through the dignity and power of work. The
mission is served by providing career counseling, job training and
other employment-related programs to people who have barriers to
employment. In 2008, Goodwill served more than 17,000 people and
placed over 900 people into new jobs.
we do not receive funding from the government to support our job
training and employment programs, donations play a pivotal role
in our ability to provide the community with those services. As
you clean out your closet, please remember to make an economic investment
in your community, and donate items you no longer need to Goodwill.
Robert Smith, President and CEO, Goodwill Industries of Lower
South Carolina, North Charleston, SC
We encourage readers to submit feedback or letters to the editor.
Send your thoughts to editor Ann
Thrash. We reserve the right to edit for length and clarity.
One submission allowed per month.
Make sure to include your name and phone number. Submission of
a comment grants permission to us to reprint. Please keep your
comment to 200 words or less.
public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring CharlestonCurrents.com
to you at no cost. This issue's featured underwriter is Horne/Guest,
a local employee benefits consulting firm that's home to Charleston's
best workforce engineers. Horne/Guest is poised to fill this demand
by offering greater flexibility, service and expertise. Innovative
employee benefit plan design ideas, state-of-the-art employee benefit
plan communication techniques and up-to-date compliance information
is what makes us unique. Horne/Guest is sensitive to every opportunity
in which we can help our clients improve their employee benefit
plans. To learn more about Horne/Guest and its Applied
Wisdom Advantage , visit the company online at: www.horneguest.com.
- To learn
more about all of our underwriters and nonprofit partners, click
Pleasant named best S.C. city for starting a business
magazine recently chose Mount Pleasant as the best South Carolina
city in which to start a business. The magazine looked at cities
across the United States with populations ranging from 20,000 to
200,000 people to compile a list of the best place to start a business
in each state. The analysis looked at 11 factors to gauge an area's
entrepreneurial climate, including the number of small businesses
and startups, the quality of the workforce, how many universities
were in town, and measures of innovation such as the number of patents
issued and the amount of venture capital invested.
to the analysis conducted by BusinessWeek using ZoomProspector.com,
Mount Pleasant came out as the top place to start up a business
in South Carolina," said Anatalio Ubalde, CEO and co-founder
of ZoomProspector.com. "BusinessWeek is one of the most respected
business publications, and this recognition should highlight the
economic development efforts in Mount Pleasant."
Pleasant Mayor Harry M. Hallman Jr. said the town was delighted
to receive the distinction. "The town of Mount Pleasant has
proven to be an outstanding location for business, offering a highly
desirable lifestyle to attract and retain key employees while providing
an available highly skilled regional workforce," he said. "Competitive
costs of business, a pro-business attitude and attractive financial
incentives highlight Mount Pleasant as a prime location for relocating,
expanding, emerging and startup operations. The public investment
we are making with our infrastructure is undoubtedly going to create
a tremendous incentive for new business startups in Mount Pleasant."
magazine article is available
online here. The profile of demographic and business data for
Mount Pleasant is available
offering incentives for members through May 31
new and current members of the S.C. Aquarium can take advantage
of special perks being made available through May 31. Current members
who refer a friend to become a member before that date will receive
a free parking pass and an extra month added to their membership.
New members who join the Aquarium before May 31 will enjoy year-long
unlimited admission as well as a gift.
Members receive exclusive invitations to members-only events, as
well as discounts and other special promotions, throughout the year.
To take advantage of the membership drive, visit http://www.scaquarium.org
or call 577-FISH (3473) and ask for the membership drive incentive
offer. To ensure proper referral credit, please be ready to provide
the referring aquarium member's full name and address or member
Piccolo Spoleto ticket brochure now available online
Spoleto ticket brochure is complete and ready to be downloaded
year's festival runs May 22 through June 7 at venues around town.
Event highlights include a battle of high school jazz bands, bluegrass
cookouts, the Festival of Churches, music at Mepkin Abbey, a "Diehard
(James) Dickey Weekend," "Beethoven: His Women and His
Music," and much more.
Spoleto, the official outreach arm of Spoleto Festival USA, was
founded by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs in
1979. The festival is funded in part by grants from the City of
Charleston; Charleston County; the S.C. Arts Commission; the National
Endowment for the Arts; and the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation
your ups and downs
A REVIEW? If you have a review of a book, movie, restaurant
or local arts endeavor, please send no more than 150 words to
editor Ann Thrash.
Make sure to include your name and full contact information.
Circular Congregational Church, dedicated in 1892, is the fourth
house of worship on the site at 150 Meeting Street in Charleston.
Its Richardsonian Romanesque style reflects Charleston's tradition
of adopting current architectural fashion for ecclesiastical buildings,
despite the city's famous conservatism in residential design.
of many creeds populated early Charleston. The city's first congregations,
St. Philip's (Church of England) and the Dissenter's Society, were
organized in 1681. Builders of the "White Meeting House"
that gave Meeting Street its name, the Dissenters included Presbyterians,
Huguenots, and Congregationalists. French Protestants soon had their
own church and others withdrew to form First (Scots) Presbyterian,
but the independent church flourished, dedicating a larger building
the new church became overcrowded, the Dissenters planned a separate
building on Archdale Street. The new building (today's Unitarian
Church) was completed in 1787, and for thirty years two preachers
each gave Sunday sermons at both churches. In 1802 there was again
a waiting list for pews, and the church agreed to replace its building
on Meeting Street. The third edifice, designed by Robert Mills and
completed in 1806, was noted for its circular design.
great fire of 1861 left only the brick walls of Mills's building
standing. For years the church retained its identity while meeting
in borrowed spaces, although before 1870 most of the black members
separated to form Plymouth Congregational Church. Circular Church's
earliest records show African American baptisms as well as white,
and black communicants (both slaves and free) were often the majority.
Some African Americans remained even after Plymouth was organized.
1886 earthquake finally made the ruined walls of Circular Church
a safety hazard, and the congregation resolved to rebuild. Designed
by the New York firm of Stephenson and Greene, the new church was
erected by the Charlestonian Henry Oliver, who faced its walls with
brick from the 1806 structure. The church was listed in the National
Register of Historic Places in 1973, and the 1806 Parish House was
designated a National Historic Landmark the same year.
from the entry by Sarah Fick. To
read more about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina,
check out The
South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used
encourage you to check out our sister publications:
Statehouse Report --
a weekly legislative forecast that keeps you a step ahead
of what happens at the Statehouse. It's free.
Clips -- a
daily news compilation of South Carolina news from media sources
across the state. Delivered by email about the time you get
to work every business day. Saves you a lot of money and time.
Sign up for a free
trial subscription today.
Clips offers a similar daily news compilation for
the scores of newspapers in Georgia's 159 counties.
-- an online community commentary for exploring pragmatic
and sensible social, political and economic approaches to
improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.
is provided to you twice a week by:
P.O. Box. 22261 | Charleston, SC 29413
Report LLC. All rights reserved. CharlestonCurrents.com is published
every Monday and Thursday by Statehouse Report LLC, PO Box 22261,
Charleston, SC 29413.
for a greener office
office greener can be as simple as turning off lights and computers.
The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce and Charleston Young Professionals
suggest these five ways to have a more eco-friendly workplace. Look
for five more in Monday's issue.
1. Use recycled
2. Purchase other recycled and environmentally friendly office
3. Turn off electronic devices when not in use.
4. Switch to energy-saving power strips.
5. Recycle your ink and toner cartridges.
to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."
and genius Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
"Dead Man Walking Out": 7 p.m. today, 103
Maybank Hall, 165 Calhoun St., College of Charleston. The Charleston
chapter of Amnesty International and South Carolinians Abolishing
the Death Penalty present the film "Dead Man Walking Out: The
Conviction, Sentencing and Vindication of Juan Melendez." Melendez
spent 17 years on Florida's Death Row for a crime he did not commit.
In December 2001, his conviction was overturned because prosecutors
at his original trial had withheld key evidence.
'Fun is Good' Conference: Scheduled for April 17, but moved
to July 31.
Kiawah Art and House Tour: 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. April 17,
Kiawah Island. Tour of six homes is sponsored by the volunteer group
"Gibbes, etc." to raise money for Gibbes Museum of Art
programs. Each home features a distinctive art collection and dramatic
views of the salt marsh, ocean, woodlands or river. Cost: $55, which
includes an admission to the Gibbes; purchase at the Gibbes
Museum Store online or by calling 722-2706, ext. 18.
Mixer: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. April 17, Folly Beach Fishing
Pier. Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission's popular
Moonlight Mixers series returns for another season, with nine mixers
scheduled for April through Septemeber. DJ Rob Duren will play oldies
and beach music for dancing. Food and beverages will be available
for purchase. Cost: In advance, $8 for Charleston County residents,
$10 for nonresidents; at the gate (if available), $10. Sellouts
are common, so advance purchases are recommended. More
info/other mixer dates.
Day Festival: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 18, Park Circle,
North Charleston. Sponsored by the Charleston County Solid Waste
and Recycling Department, the event features more than 70 environmental
activities and educational displays, including an "Avant Garbage"
recycled-fashion show. More
info, detailed schedule.
Cupcakes & Brides: 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. April 18,
Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston. Dianne Shaver and Suzette Latsko,
authors of "Bride's Advisor Charleston, Everything You Need
to Create Your Dream Wedding in Charleston," are the hostesses
for this event for engaged couples and their families. Champagne,
Cupcakes & Brides will feature a variety of merchants involved
in the wedding business, and the authors will be on hand to answer
questions and sign books. More
Hall Picnic: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. April 18, Drayton Hall
Plantation. Second annual Friends of Drayton Hall Picnic includes
Lowcountry food, historical games for children and informal presentations
on Drayton Hall archaeological work and architectural research.
Tickets: $16.95 for adult members of Friends; $19.95 otherwise;
$11.95 for ages 6 to 12; free for ages 5 and younger. Reservations/details:
and "Greenival": April 19, Kiawah Island Golf
Resort. Events celebrating Earth Day include a 5K timed run and
1-mile beach fun run beginning at 9:30 a.m. on the beach at Boardwalk
18 (adjacent to the Night Heron Park nature center). The green festival
runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and features a bluegrass band, food,
green vendors, and family crafts. More info and Re-Run registration:
Garden Tours: 4 p.m. each Friday in April, Heyward-Washington
House, 87 Church St., Charleston. The Heyward-Washington House garden
includes plants that were introduced to the Lowcountry no later
than 1791. Visitors will see camellias, tea olives, boxwoods, native
azaleas, yellow begonias, roses, herbs and more. Cost: $10 for adults,
$5 for ages 3-12 (free for Charleston Museum members); includes
both the garden and house tours. More info: 722-2996, ext. 235.
Charleston Foundation Festival of Houses and Gardens: Ongoing
March 19 through April 18, various sites. Tours feature
the interiors and gardens of approximately 150 historic private
homes in 10 colonial and antebellum neighborhoods during the peak
of the city's springtime blooms. Other events include Plantation
Picnics at Drayton Hall Plantation, daily walking tours through
the Old and Historic District, "Eat and Run" luncheons,
harbor tours, book signings, etc. Proceeds benefit the work of the
Historic Charleston Foundation. Tickets/more info: 723-1623 or by
ONGOING AND SOON
Businesses: 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. April 22 (Earth Day,)
Embassy Suites Hotel, 5055 International Blvd., North Charleston.
The Charleston Metro Chamber's North Area Business Council will
teach businesses how going green can affect the bottom line. Speakers
include Joel McKellar of LS3P Architecture and Lowcountry chapter
president of the U.S. Green Building Council; Wayne Koeckeritz of
The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island; and Jane Thompson, Liollio Architecture.
Cost: $15 chamber members, $30 nonmembers. Registration.
Tour and Expo: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. April 22 (Earth Day),
10 Storehouse Row, 2120 Noisette Blvd., North Charleston. Charleston
Young Professionals will host the second annual "Get on the
Bus Green Tour and Expo," featuring a tour of the Navy Yard
at Noisette and surrounding eco-friendly businesses and neighborhoods
aboard the LEEP Biodiesel Bus. Following the bus tour, there will
be an eco-friendly art show and a green expo with sustainability
tips from businesses, nonprofits and developers. Cost: $15 members,
$25 nonmembers (fees include refreshments). Registration.
School Meetings: 6 p.m. April 20, April 22 and
April 23. A local group establishing the Palmetto Scholars
Academy, a charter school for gifted and talented students, will
hold informational meetings for interested families. Locations are:
April 20, Berkeley County Library, 2301 Daniel Island Drive, Daniel
Island; April 22, Charleston County Public Library, 68 Calhoun St.,
Meeting Room B, Charleston; and April 23, Dorchester County Library,
76 Old Trolley Road, Metro Room, Summerville. More
Disaster Planning: 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. April 23,
Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, 2750 Speissegger Drive, North
Charleston. The chamber's Business Continuity Planning Council will
host a workshop on how to write a business continuity plan in light
of hurricanes or other natural disasters, economic downturn and
other unforeseen obstacles. Cost: $20 chamber members, $35 nonmembers.
of the Fleet:
11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 26, Alhambra Hall, Mount Pleasant.
Enjoy samples of local restaurants' best seafood dishes, live music
by the East Coast Party Band, shrimp-eating and shagging contests,
arts and crafts, and a parade of decorated shrimp trawlers at the
22nd annual festival. Admission is free; tickets will be sold for
food samples. More
info, including a list of other "Week With the Fleet"
Dinner: 6:30 p.m. April 27, Crave Kitchen & Cocktails,
1968 Riviera Drive, Mount Pleasant. Five-course dinner will pair
classic French cuisine with French wines. Cost: $70 per person,
including tax and gratuity. Reservations (required): 884-1177. More
Sumter Findings: 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. May 2, Charleston
Museum, followed by boat tour to fort. Dr. Russell Horres, a volunteer
researcher and National Park Service Guide, will talk about new
revelations on the fort's construction and events leading up to
the start of the Civil War. Following talk at museum, group will
visit the fort. Cost: $30 museum members, $35 nonmembers (includes
boat transportation to fort). Make reservations
online by April 24 or phone 722-2996, ext. 235.
7:30 p.m. May 8, North Charleston Performing Arts Center.
Charleston Ballet Theatre will team up with Eddie Bush & One
Flew South to present a journey through the Beatles' songbook, featuring
dance interpretations of classics such as "Lady Madonna,"
"Yellow Submarine," "While My Guitar
Gently Weeps" and "Penny Lane." After the CBT performances,
Eddie Bush & One Flew South will offer a concert celebrating
the Fab Four. Cost: $41 adults, $26 student/child. Tickets: Call
723-7334, visit the NPAC box office or go
to here online.
In this section,
we offer a list of good reads that you might want to consider reading:
Short History of a Small Place, T.R. Pearson
Turn in the South, V.S. Naipaul
Book of Marie, Terry Kay
Jazz, Jack McCray
Deep: 20 Classic Sports Stories,
Gary Smith (review)
Be Sober in the Morning: Great Comebacks, Putdowns, and Ripostes,
Chris Lamb (List)
Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman, Merle Miller
a book to us
New local music CD
Uses of social media
Time for renovations
Dog days at Drayton
Get it clean
Cheer on US rugby
Dress for Success
Field to Families
Book burning event
on car tags
way of tithing?
green bus here
Mt. P. promo
weekend at home
P. Farmers Market
Food + Wine Festival
Creek park input
bald eagles thrive
man moves up in contest
to old clunker
to squeeze in
is in the air
at the ballpark
leaves great legacy
positive about economy
at three books
hood on "reform" efforts
book is great pleasure
band is inspiring
know you're from...
the school menu
Day Fest facts
to bid on
in the sun
go the lights
on duck race