Charleston Parks Conservancy Celebrates 10th Teddy Bear Picnic on March 3, 2019

Read More

New activities include Teddy Bear Tea Party, scavenger hunt for older children

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Now a beloved family tradition, the Charleston Parks Conservancy will celebrate the 10th Teddy Bear Picnic on Sunday, March 3. Over the last decade, families have been enjoying an afternoon of free fun in one of Charleston’s favorite public spaces: Hampton Park.

Children and their teddy bears will once again take over the park to enjoy musical entertainment, face painting, seed planting, crafts and more at this year’s event set for 1:30-4 p.m. Sunday, March 3 in Hampton Park, 30 Mary Murray Drive. Admission and all activities are free; advance registration is encouraged.

New this year is a Teddy Bear Tea Party and a scavenger hunt geared toward older children who want to explore Hampton Park. Also joining the event is The Lady Bug Lady and her lady bug car, Ms. Lulu. The popular Teddy Bear ER will be back, helping “injured” bears needing treatment and well bear checkups.

The idea for the Teddy Bear Picnic came from the Conservancy’s volunteer Park Angels who wanted to create a free event that encouraged families to spend time in the park.

“We started this event as a way for families and children to make memories in the park. Now, we have children who have literally grown up attending the Teddy Bear Picnic,” said Neves Richards, director of volunteers. “And many of our participants are now part of the more than 100 Park Angels who volunteer with us year after year because they love this event so much.”

Part of this year’s 10th celebration is Parker Bear, star of “Here, There and Everywhere with Parker Bear,” a children’s book written by the Conservancy’s volunteer Park Angels and photographed by Charleston photographer Libby Williams.

In the book, Parker Bear goes on a Charleston parks adventure, visiting 10 city parks before meeting his friends at Hampton Park for the annual Teddy Bear Picnic. The book was released at the 2017 Teddy Bear Picnic, and copies will be available for purchase this year as well.

Families are invited to bring a picnic lunch, blankets and chairs to enjoy an afternoon in the park. Food trucks will have food available for purchase.

The event is free, but to save time at check-in, families are encouraged to pre-register online and pre-order their copy of “Here, There and Everywhere with Parker Bear.” Books are $12 each or two for $20. Learn more and pre-register at https://www.charlestonparksconservancy.org/event/teddy-bear-picnic.

The rain date for the event is Sunday, March 10.

About the Charleston Parks Conservancy

The Charleston Parks Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring the people of Charleston to connect with their parks and together create stunning public places and a strong community. The Conservancy opens doors to individuals and organizations in Charleston wanting to engage with their parks and green spaces in a kaleidoscope of positive ways. With the help of its Park Angels, the Conservancy improves, enhances, and invigorates these spaces, making Charleston even better, stronger, and more successful. For more information about or to support the Charleston Parks Conservancy, please visit www.charlestonparksconservancy.org.

Charleston Parks Conservancy on social media:

Twitter / Instagram @charlestonparks

Facebook www.facebook.com/CharlestonParksConservancy

Event hashtag: #teddybearpicnic & #parkerbear

First Art in the Parks Installation Displayed in Hampton Park

Read More
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Sculptures engraved with local children’s drawings, maps of Charleston and images of plant life have been installed in Hampton Park, part of a new Art in the Parks program created by the Charleston Parks Conservancy in collaboration with Redux Contemporary Art Center and the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs.
?
The four large-scale pieces are made from colorful wood and transparent cast acrylic – the result of almost a year of work by Georgia-based artist Joseph Dreher (known as JOEKINGATL) and the Conservancy. Dreher received the Conservancy’s first ArtFields exhibition prize in April 2017. The annual award kicked off the Art in the Parks initiative, an effort to install temporary public art displays in Charleston city parks through collaborations with artists and arts organizations, including ArtFields.
?
The installation – called “Plant Vitae” – located on the southern edge of Hampton Park along Mary Murray Drive represents Charleston residents in a way that celebrates the people and the community. Dreher worked with children from schools near Hampton Park and the local Boys and Girls Club to create the portraits showcased in the final art pieces.
?
Using a “portrait partner” technique Dreher developed, the children created portraits of each other that become the basis of the sculptures. Dreher used colorful painted wood and transparent cast acrylic engraved with the children’s drawings, maps of Charleston and images of plant life.
?
“People are my primary interest and it is my appreciation for people that informs so much of my creative work,” Dreher says. “My work is always multidimensional because I see a world where people are not flat. They are not obstacles, or heroes, or rogues, or saints. They are people – dimensional and deep.? There are no strangers in your world when you meet people fully prepared to accept who they are.”
?
Through a public-private partnership model, the Conservancy works with the city’s Parks Department as well as community leaders, neighborhoods and engaged citizens to transform and activate the city’s parks and green spaces.?
?
The Conservancy also will be working on a public art project along the West Ashley Greenway and Bikeway, thanks to a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Conservancy is partnering with the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs and local community groups on a creative placemaking effort, including a public art master plan and selection of artists to create public art and arts programming along the Greenway and Bikeway.?
?
“We believe in connecting people to their parks, and art is a powerful tool to connect people to their environment and to each other,” says Harry Lesesne, the Conservancy’s executive director. “In the same ways public parks and green spaces are accessible to the entire community, we want public art projects to function in the same way – drawing people out into the parks and deepening their connection to their community and their neighbors.”?
?
This Art in the Parks program is supported by contributions from The Speedwell Foundation, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Employees Community Fund of The Boeing Company, The Joanna Foundation, the City of Charleston and the Henry and Sylvia Yaschik Foundation.
?
Follow the Charleston Parks Conservancy at www.CharlestonParksConservancy.org and on social media @CharlestonParks for updates on upcoming Art in the Park events and programs in Hampton Park.
?
About the Charleston Parks Conservancy
The Charleston Parks Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring the people of Charleston to connect with their parks and together create stunning public places and a strong community. The Conservancy opens doors to individuals and organizations in Charleston wanting to engage with their parks and green spaces in a kaleidoscope of positive ways. With the help of its Park Angels, the Conservancy improves, enhances, and invigorates these spaces, making Charleston even better, stronger, and more successful. For more information about or to support the Charleston Parks Conservancy, please visit www.charlestonparksconservancy.org.
?
###
?
Charleston Parks Conservancy on social media:
Twitter / Instagram @charlestonparks
?
Instagram @joekingatl

Local Students Design, Build Pavilion at Medway Community Garden

Read More

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Two years ago the Charleston Parks Conservancy offered James Island residents a garden-to-table option at Medway Park & Community Garden. Quickly, residents began filling the 60 leased beds with produce and flowers while meeting their neighbors and learning more about growing their own vegetables and herbs.

Now the garden is in a second phase of development as graduate students from the Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston spent their fall semester designing and building a new garden pavilion at Medway Community Garden, 2113 Medway Road. With input from Conservancy staff and community gardeners, a dozen architecture students learned how to create an aesthetically pleasing and functional structure that’s both a gathering place for gardeners, storage area for tools, work space for cleaning produce and focal point for the community’s use of the park.

Construction began in early November, and students are putting the finishing touches on their work this week.

The Conservancy is funding the cost of the materials at about $10,000. Additional fundraising is underway to complete a water collection station that is being designed into the garden pavilion. The cost to complete that piece of the project will be $4,000 and donations are still needed.

In November, the Conservancy received a $5,000 grant from Publix Supermarket Charities for Medway Community Garden. The first phase of the garden was funded largely by donations from The Standard James Island and Olde Charlestowne Sertoma Club.

In the past, undergraduate students at the center have worked on projects in the Conservancy’s other two community gardens: Elliotborough on the peninsula and Magnolia Community Garden in West Ashley.

“We’re fortunate to have forged such a positive relationship with Clemson Architecture Center. The students are gaining real-world experience designing and building something that people will use everyday, and, in turn, we can enhance the community gardening experience with a pavilion where people can gather with their fellow gardeners or simply sit and admire the fruits of their labors,” said Jim Martin, director of programs.

Anyone interested in contributing to the work at Medway Community Garden can donate online at www.charlestonparksconservancy.org/donate.

About the Charleston Parks Conservancy

The Charleston Parks Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring the people of Charleston to connect with their parks and together create stunning public places and a strong community. The Conservancy opens doors to individuals and organizations in Charleston wanting to engage with their parks and green spaces in a kaleidoscope of positive ways. With the help of its Park Angels, the Conservancy improves, enhances, and invigorates these spaces, making Charleston even better, stronger, and more successful. For more information about or to support the Charleston Parks Conservancy, please visit www.charlestonparksconservancy.org.

###

Charleston Parks Conservancy on social media:

Twitter / Instagram @charlestonparks

Facebook www.facebook.com/CharlestonParksConservancy

Charleston Parks Conservancy Expands Programming Mission with New Hire, Additional Public Events

Read More

CHARLESTON, S.C. – With the addition of more public programming, the Charleston Parks Conservancy is furthering its mission of connecting people to their parks in a way that inspires engagement and involvement in the Conservancy’s work to create stunning public spaces and a strong community. This year, the Conservancy created a new position of community engagement manager to organize more community programming in Charleston’s city parks.

Pam Zanowski, who has extensive experience in parks and recreation, has joined the Conservancy to fill this new role. She’ll be creating educational programs, developing partnerships with like-minded organizations and overseeing the Conservancy’s efforts to engage people in their parks.

‘We are fortunate to have so many beautiful parks and open spaces within the City of Charleston and for the Conservancy to have a presence in many of them,” Zanowski said. “I am eager and excited to build relationships with community members and work together to offer quality programs and activities that meet the needs of our residents.”

Part of the Conservancy’s expanded community engagement is the new Art in the Parks program. In April, the Conservancy awarded its first Charleston Parks Conservancy exhibition prize to Georgia artist Joseph Dreher, who participated in the the annual ArtFields competition showcasing the work of artists around the Southeast. Dreher will create a work of art to be displayed at Hampton Park later this year.

And this summer, the Conservancy was awarded a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for a project that will add public art programming along the West Ashley Greenway and Bikeway.

“Since its inception 10 years ago, the Conservancy has never lost sight of its core goal: connecting people to their parks. It’s what drives our organization,” said Harry Lesesne, executive director. “Whether it’s a park renovation, a new playground or a family friendly event in the park, we remain committed to creating stunning public spaces where people want to spend time outdoors, meet friends and neighbors, and develop a greater appreciation for our city’s parks.”

Upcoming community events in the parks include:

Parks and Pacies — Bring the little ones out into Charleston’s parks this fall. Join the Conservancy from 9-10 a.m. every Wednesday in September for the Parks and Pacies playgroup. Each week we will explore a different playground around Charleston (Sept. 6 at Hazel Parker Playground; Sept. 13 at Corrine Jones Park; Sept. 20 at Tiedemann Park; Sept. 27 at McMahon Playground). Surprises and snacks provided. Event is free, but please register at charlestonparksconservancy.org/calendar.

Movies at Magnolia featuring “Moana” — Join the Charleston Parks Conservancy for a family fun movie night at Magnolia Park in West Ashley on Friday, Sept. 29. Come at 6 p.m. for Hawaiian-themed activities, including a photo booth, hula hooping and tie dye T-shirts (please bring your own shirt). Purchase an icy treat from Pelican’s SnoBalls or grab dinner from a local food truck before the movie. Free popcorn will be available from the City of Charleston Recreation Department. Bring chairs and blankets; the movie will begin at dark (about 7:15 p.m.). Pets on leashes are welcome. Disney’s “Moana” is the story of an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. For more information, visit charlestonparksconservancy.org/calendar.

Intro to Photography in the Parks — Professional photographer Libby Williams will lead a three-hour class on the basics of photography in Charleston’s parks. The class is 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 7 at the Charleston Parks Conservancy office, 720 Magnolia Road, Suite 25, in West Ashley. Explore composition, light and techniques to learn how to take great photos of the parks and beyond. Participants will spend a few hours in the classroom and then go outside for hands-on instruction to perfect their craft and tell as story with their camera. Note: This class is not designed to teach attendees how to use their camera, so come with some basic knowledge of how the camera works. A DSLR camera is recommended, but all cameras are welcome. Cost is $40. Space is limited so please register at charlestonparksconservancy.org/calendar.

Williams has been taking photos and doing graphic design work for the Charleston Parks Conservancy since its inception. She has worked as a photographer all over the state, region, country and even traveled around the world following her dream and telling stories for her clients. Her work has appeared locally in publications like Charleston magazine, City Paper, Skirt!, and Garden & Gun. Williams got her start in photography early, begging her parents for her first SLR camera at the age of 10. She hasn’t stopped shooting since.

Jazz Brunch in Hampton Park — Join the Charleston Parks Conservancy for brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 22. Bring your chairs and blankets and enjoy jazz music by Asa Holgate and his band while relaxing in Hampton Park. Admission is $10 and includes one free drink ticket for those 21 and older. Free admission for children 12 and under). Tickets are limited; purchase at charlestonparksconservancy.org/calendar. Local food trucks Brunch Holiday, The Waffle Connection, Roti Rolls, and Notes Curbside Coffees will have food available for purchase along with beer, wine and mimosas. No coolers or pets allowed. Also, Charleston Moves will be hosting a Pedal to the Parks bike ride that morning, ending at Hampton Park in time for the Jazz Brunch. To participate in the bike ride or for more information go to www.charlestonmoves.org.

About the Charleston Parks Conservancy

The Charleston Parks Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring the people of Charleston to connect with their parks and together create stunning public places and a strong community. The Conservancy opens doors to individuals and organizations in Charleston wanting to engage with their parks and green spaces in a kaleidoscope of positive ways. With the help of its Park Angels, the Conservancy improves, enhances, and invigorates these spaces, making Charleston even better, stronger, and more successful. For more information about or to support the Charleston Parks Conservancy, please visit www.charlestonparksconservancy.org.

###

Charleston Parks Conservancy on social media:

Twitter / Instagram @charlestonparks

Facebook www.facebook.com/CharlestonParksConservancy

Photography in the Parks

Holly A. Fisher, MMC
Inbound Marketing Certified?

Writing | Social Media | Public Relations
holly@fisher-creative.com
843-991-1689

www.Fisher-Creative.com

Desirable Places in Charleston, SC to Escape Life

Read More

By Minta Pavliscsak

Ever have one of “those” days? Sure you have; we all have. The type of day where you just want to be alone and escape life for a bit. Between work, school, family, friends, and the constant connection with technology, places where you can just be alone are difficult to come by.

However, as long as you do not check in on Facebook or Yelp when you get there, you can seclude yourself and escape life if you wish to do so. Turn off your phone, bring a book, magazine, your puppy, a notebook, or simply your own thoughts, take a few deep breaths and enjoy your solitude.

Here are a few of the best hidden places in Charleston to escape life, if only for a few minutes.

Folly Beach: You have a few options here. The best places to go to be alone with your thoughts are as far east as you can go on the island, and as far west as you can go. On the east end you will enjoy a scenic view of Morris Island Lighthouse. The far west end is a bit further of a walk, but totally worth it. The walk there is part of the destination itself.

Charleston Waterfront Park swings at night: There’s not a sound much more soothing than the sound of water, and when accompanied by the feeling of gently swinging back and forth under the moonlight, worries seem to melt away. Bring a comfy sweatshirt, even in summertime as it tends to get a little chilly.

Melton Peter Demetre Park (formally Sunrise Park): If you want a unique view of Charleston and the surrounding areas, here is your spot. Nestled deep within James Island, this is the perfect place to start your day or spend the afternoon in peacefulness.? In the distance you can view the Cooper River Bridge or the church steeples of the peninsula.

Screenshot_2016-04-12-10-53-50-1-01
Allan Park

Fishing and Crabbing Dock at James Island County Park: Even if there is someone fishing, they usually just nod to say hi and focus on catching a big one. The dock is large enough for you to have your own spot to yourself. Bring your fishing pole, crab net, or just sit and enjoy the view.

Allan Park: Located just off of Ashley Avenue near Hampton Park, Allan Park is a splendid half acre of tranquility. There is a large fountain in the center and plenty of grass for picnics. There are also benches around the fountain if a blanket is not your thing.

Caw Caw Interpretive Center: Located about sixteen miles from downtown Charleston, Caw Caw Interpretive Center has remained virtually untouched over the years. Once several rice plantations, it is now home to a multitude of wildlife which you can enjoy along over six miles of trails winding throughout swamplands, cypress trees and boardwalks.

Magnolia Cemetery: Not many people think “relaxing” when it comes to cemeteries, but trust us on this one. Magnolia Cemetery is located on the banks of the Cooper River and in our opinion has to be one of the most beautiful places one could spend their resting days. Taking a stroll through this 92 acre stretch of land can give a whole new meaning to “escaping life”.

MUSC Urban Farm:? Right in the heart of the medical district off of Bee Street between Ashley and Courtenay is a safe haven.? In the heart of this square escape is an educational community garden where you will find everything from lemons, to rosemary to sunflowers with free gardening and nature lessons weekly.? Just outside the garden are open grassy areas and benches to relax, have a meal or just daydream.? Also, enclosed in this area are stretching equipment to keep your body physically fit.? This is a true mental and physical realm of health and solitude in the heart of the Charleston peninsula.

 

20160403_171949-01
Magnolia Cemetery

We know there are more, but we do not want to give away all of the secrets! If you have a favorite spot that you like to go to escape life and would like to share, please comment below.

Save The Landing Brave Sculpture at Charles Towne Landing

The following is from the petition started by Charleston’s Kelly Gaskins and can be found at?change.org:?

Charles Towne Landing is permanently removing their wooden Indian sculpture from the park with no plans to preserve it.

To honor Native Americans,? Peter Toth carved a sculpture called the Landing Brave and donated it to Charles Towne Landing in 1977. He donated his time and resources so that visitors would recognize the Native American contribution to our historical fabric. The carving depicts the?head of an Indian brave wearing a feather headdress. The magnificent sculpture was carved from an old oak tree and measures?approximately 22 x 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 ft.? Since 1977, The Landing Brave has not only served as a tribute to Native Americans but it has also been a backdrop to countless family photos of visiting travelers from all over the world!

According to the?park’s director of corporate communications the ridiculous reason for the Indian sculpture removal is because it is <quote> “not historically accurate to Charles Towne Landing.”? She stated the sculpture <quote> “does not depict the Kiawah (Indians), the Yemassee(Indians) or the Edisto (Indians) or any of the cultures that were in South Carolina at the time.”? According to the Landing Brave creator, Peter Toth, the sculpture is intended to pay tribute to the?Native American culture by highlighting the significance of the regional tribes in South Carolina.

This communications director also said the sculpture is a safety issue because of its age and rotting. When asked directly if anyone had been injured from the sculpture she said removing it is a preventative measure. Here’s why that doesn’t make sense: In 2005 the Landing Brave sculpture was restored and treated for termites. The creator, Peter Toth says the sculpture was carved from oak and should last 100+ years with minimal care. If the park wanted to, they could install a safety barrier around the sculpture. The park has no interest in preserving or maintaining the sculpture–just removing it permanently.

The Native Americans have always held a deep respect for the land and to take only what was needed, and to thank every plant, animal, or thing that was used. They were conservationists and ecologists long before this became popular. ?Charles Towne Landing now has an opportunity to follow the examples set forth by the Native American people by keeping & preserving this historically relevant sculpture.

Your help is absolutely necessary to save the Landing Brave sculpture! Your voices must be heard to demand it stays in the park for future visitors to enjoy! Here’s how you can help:

1.) Please sign the petition!

2.) Call or email the director of the state park service: Phil Gaines: pgaines@scprt.com
803-734-0345

3.) Post on the Charles Towne Landing YELP page: https://www.yelp.com/biz/charles-towne-landing-state-historic-site-charleston

4.) Post on the Charles Towne Landing Trip Advisor page: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g54171-d144262-Reviews-Charles_Towne_Landing_State_Historic_Site-Charleston_South_Carolina.html

5.) Visit the park office at Charles Towne Landing or call to demand the Landing Brave stay in the park! They are located at 1500 Old Towne Rd, Charleston, SC 29407
PHONE: (843) 852-4200

PARK MANAGER: ROB POWELL

ASSISTANT PARK MANAGER: JASON ROBINETT

6.) Contact your media or lawmaker friends and request their help in raising awareness about the Landing Brave and making noise to keep it in the park!

This petition will be delivered to:
State Park Director: Phil Gaines

Progressive Charleston – Free wifi in Charleston County Parks

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

The definition of progressive is the ability to use innovation, technology and change to create a better way of life for a community or place. To be considered progressive is the ability to combine the forces of intelligence and creativity, develop a plan of action and bring positive change. Charleston, has embraced the notion of progression, including the growth and expansion of free wifi in the county parks. With the most current expansion of four new parks to the circuit of Free wifi options in Charleston, the county is bringing the world typically confined to the homes and classrooms to the outdoors.

Charleston parks are blessed with natural beauty, enchanted weather (most of the year) and a natural combination of community, wildlife, athletics, family and horticulture. With a continued focus on higher education in the Charleston area, the ability to take students out of the classroom and bestow a virtual classroom under the warmth of the sun is a sign of positive change.

In wasn’t until October 2014, through a grant from Google that San Francisco was able to offer free wifi in over 20 public parks. New York City has planned to transplant 7300 old pay phones into free wifi hotspots beginning in 2015 making them the most wifi friendly city in the world. In the summer of 2014, Los Angeles offered this option in six parks. Charleston has joined the ranks of the largest U.S. Metro locations along with such global cities as London, Tel Aviv and Seoul.

FIND OUT HOW MANY CITIES OFFER FREE PARK WIFI

  • Why provide the option of free wifi to the Charleston county parks? It is simple.
  • With the growth of mobile, computers now fit into our pockets. The ability to research events, restaurants and shopping while walking the dog or laying out will have a positive impact on the economy.
  • Charleston strives to promote wellness and healthy lifestyles. The wifi offers the options to track exercise routines, monitor vitals and connect with friends for outdoor activity.
  • The offering of park service will bring more of the community together in a concentrated area and promote more engagement in Charleston.
    Have you spent a Spring, Summer or Fall in Charleston? Being outdoors is the place to be. Whether you want a tan or just people watch, the Charleston parks are fun.
  • The city and the parks offer a limitless realm of imagination. By eliminating borders, we are opening up the creative process. From writers to inventors to digital artists, the outdoors opens up so many possibilities.
  • Do you work from home? Now you don’t have to be stuck in a home office. You can be on the grass. We promise not to tell your boss.
    You can Tinder and meet in a safe forum (if you are into that kind of thing).
  • If you spend enough time working in the park, you may someday end up on Google Earth.

To the Charleston county officers who have fought hard to allocate funding for this expansion of Free internet throughout the county, we applaud your efforts and thank you for allowing all people the option to work, play, surf or just discover something new right at their fingertips while still letting the dogs run.