Charleston Parks Conservancy Unveils Plans for Improvements, Beautification at Hampton Park, Upper Peninsula

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Public invited to ice cream social to learn more about the Conservancy’s work
and upcoming park projects

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston Parks Conservancy is inviting the public to an ice cream social to learn more about the nonprofit organization’s decade-long efforts to improve Charleston’s public parks, including forthcoming improvements at Hampton Park and Corrine Jones Park. Interested neighbors and park users can “get the scoop” at the event from 5:30-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 14 at the pavilion near the lagoon.

Community members can enjoy frozen treats from Pelican’s SnoBalls and The Ice Cream Team along with family friendly activities while reviewing plans for improvements to Hampton Park’s shuttered concession stand and the addition of a major new ornamental garden space around the facility, a new community vegetable garden at Corrine Jones Park, and new park programs such as the Conservancy’s Jazz Brunch series.

The Conservancy’s overall goal is to enliven and improve the experience at Hampton Park and other upper peninsula parks. Locals and visitors already spend a great deal of time in these parks, walking, jogging, attending events and more. These planned improvements will enhance already-beloved public spaces. The Conservancy previously renovated Allan Park, Corrine Jones Park, and McMahon Playground at Hampton Park. With the help of dedicated neighborhood volunteers, the Conservancy was able to replace outdated playground equipment, add extensive flower beds and create safer and more enjoyable spaces for children and families.

These next projects build on this previous work, furthering the Conservancy’s goal to create beautiful public spaces that encourage people to connect with their parks.

In the first phase, the Conservancy will revitalize the former concession stand and surrounding landscape at Hampton Park into a gathering space for community members as well as a place to host family and social gatherings, culinary pop-ups, plus neighborhood and cultural events.

In addition, the Conservancy will show conceptual plans for the restoration of the historic park cottage and new multi-use community center on the north side of the park as well as a proposed new community vegetable garden at Corrine Jones Park. All the proposed park improvements will be privately funded. Representatives from the Charleston Parks Conservancy will be on hand and available to answer questions about the projects and the Conservancy’s overall work in local parks.

“We’re excited to share these plans with the community and demonstrate how we’ll be turning underused parts of these parks into more vibrant, beautiful spaces that will become hubs of community activity,” said Harry Lesesne, executive director of the Charleston Parks Conservancy. “These improvements will allow more residents to use and enjoy some of the city’s most beloved parks.”

Over the last decade, the Conservancy has been dedicated to inspiring the people of Charleston to connect with their parks and together create stunning public spaces and a strong community. It has spearheaded park renovation and beautification projects all around the city, including Colonial Lake, Tiedemann Park and Nature Center, Chapel Street Fountain Park, Cannon Park, Wragg Square, McMahon Playground at Hampton Park, Allan Park, Magnolia Park and Community Garden, Medway Park and Community Garden, the West Ashley Greenway and Bikeway, and many more.

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. With the help of its volunteer 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, visit www.charlestonparksconservancy.org.

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Charleston Parks Conservancy on social media:
Twitter / Instagram @charlestonparks
Facebook www.facebook.com/CharlestonParksConservancy

Caw Caw Interpretive Center and Wildlife Preserve provides absolute escapism

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Less than 30 minutes outside of the Charleston city limits is a wildlife escape.? From the sounds of the birds to the slither of snakes to the restful ominous stare of the alligators, Caw Caw Interpretive Center and Wildlife Preserve is a categorical natural wonder.? From the rice fields to the swamps, each path introduces you to a new segment of the ecosystem.? With miles of pathway, you can lose yourself in this park system.

We warn you not to go alone.? There is calming silence throughout, so when the sound of a bird echos, a sea creature lurks from the swamp or squirrels hop from tree to tree you may get a little shocked.? At times, the sounds of the birds resembled instruments being tuned up for an orchestra performance.? As we walked the grassy path, we encountered five alligators, two snakes crossing the walk way, heron, cardinals and so much more.

From swampland and forests that provide shelter from the scorching sun to open skies and rice fields all around, Caw Caw is educational, healthy and full of natural wonder.

It truly summarizes the authenticity of the Lowcountry from its early nature roots.? Pay close attention to the aging and decay of trees, many of which are hundreds of years old.

For $2.00 a person, you cannot beat this bargain.? They do cater to tours as we were fortunate to see a group of bird watchers all decked out in their binoculars.

Come with us and see for yourself through these images we captured in our two hour excursion:

Clear open skies for miles
Clear open skies for miles

 

 

Reflections in the water
Reflections in the water

 

Resting gator
Resting gator

 

Getting a little closer and a little more nervous
Getting a little closer and a little more nervous

 

Snakes crossed our path
Snakes crossed our path

 

Large gator taking in the sun
Large gator taking in the sun

 

Rice fields
Rice fields

 

Waterfowl area
Waterfowl area

 

 

 

A nice rest after a long walk
A nice rest after a long walk

 

Walkway for all the eye can see
Walkway for all the eye can see

 

Ready for the swamp boardwalk?
Ready for the swamp boardwalk?

 

 

 

 

Beware of the creatures lurking in the swamp
Beware of the creatures lurking in the swamp

 

Which path to follow?
Which path to follow?

 

caw11

 

Pack the kids or your special someone, put on some comfortable shoes and grab some water and make a day out at Caw Caw.

Caw Caw Interpretive Center Information Guide

GALLERY: Tribute to The Charleston Sunrise

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By Mark A. Leon

One of the most remarkable treasures of the Lowcountry are the miracle of the sunrise and sunsets.? Throughout our gorgeous terrain lies some of the most memorable experiences, nearly every day and night.? So often we are in process of a commute to work, sleeping in, showering or working that we lose such a precious opportunity to see these spiritual treasures of life.

As our personal tribute, we want to share some of our favorite captures of the Lowcountry sunrises.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If this doesn’t motivate you to wake up early, I don’t know what will.

 

 

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

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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.

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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

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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.

 

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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.

Discover the Folly Beach Wishing Tree

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By Mark A. Leon

Just north of Folly Beach County Park, there is a firm, well pronounced tree grown from the soft sands of the Carolina beaches.? As the sun rises and sets, it stands firm with one very important purpose, making your dreams come true.? As you get closer to this tree, you will find a heart, shells guarded closely inside the branches and necklaces of shells marking the spot where so many have come to ask for a wish.

Not only is this one of the most spectacular locations in the Lowcountry to witness the sunset, but it offers remarkable solitude for romance and reflection.

Do you have a wish you are hoping will come true?? A yearning for love, a sick one you wish well, hopes of accomplishing a dream or something very genuine and simple?? Here is your chance.? Find a special shell or make something unique and offer it to the wishing tree.? Say your wish under the warmth of the Southern sky and wait.

Make the Wishing Tree a part of your Lowcountry pilgrimage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charleston Based Nectar Sunglasses Team Up with The Bee Cause to Help Repopulate Honeybee Hives

Press Release:? Quality eyewear maker, Nectar Sunglasses is partnering with The Bee Cause to help repopulate honeybee hives. This stems from the concern in recent years about the rapid decrease in honeybee population in the United States and the rest of the world. In response, Nectar is donating a portion of each sunglasses order to The Bee Cause.

Quality eyewear maker, Nectar Sunglasses is partnering with The Bee Cause to help repopulate honeybee hives. This stems from the concern in recent years about the rapid decrease in honeybee population in the United States and the rest of the world. In response, Nectar is donating a portion of each sunglasses order to The Bee Cause.

The main aim of the partnership is to build 1,000 observational bee hives in schools around the world. Each new hive will house 10,000 bees and will help educate children on the importance of bees The hives will also allow them to safely investigate thriving bee communities. So far, the partnership has succeeded in repopulating over 430,000 bees.

As part of the campaign, Nectar Sunglasses have set up an ‘initiative’ page within their site, which contains an eye-catching infographic. The infographic specifically highlights the rapid decrease in the number of bee hives living in the United States. In 2015, there were only 2 million hives present in the US, compared to 4 million in 1975.

In addition, the infographic put together by Nectar Sunglasses contains an assortment of fascinating facts on the importance and effects of pollination by bees. These include the value of bee pollination to the U.S. economy, the fact that one third of the world’s food supply are reliant on bees for pollination, and that 75% of flowering plant species need a pollinator to reproduce. The campaign page also underlines the causes of honeybee decline.

What makes Nectar Sunglasses unique from the competition is that they make quality eyewear for less than $50. Founded by two friends in 2012, the company prides itself in breaking all the rules and offer products, which come in unique color combinations and styles made for risk takers, freethinkers, and those who want to experience true freedom.

Moreover, all sunglasses sold through Nectar’s site are made from durable polycarbonate material to make them sturdy and resist impact from any extreme activity. The products also feature Euphoric HD polarized lenses, which not only filters out harmful rays but also prevents the glare, which bounces off water and snow from hitting the eyes.

People can view Nectar’s unique range of sunglasses at www.nectarsunglasses.com

Contact Information:

461 A Fleming Rd

Charleston, SC 29412

(843) 795-0914

Website: http://www.nectarsunglasses.com

 

 

GALLERY: Waking Up to a Lowcountry Miracle

What were you doing at 6:30 AM this morning?

I imagine most of you were in dream land fast asleep comfortably under your sheets and comforters.? While most of the Lowcountry was sleeping, a few of us witnessed another beautiful miracle; a Charleston sunrise.? Like a cinematic IMAX in the sky, the minute by minute reel was filled with colors, depth and warmth.

A Lowcountry sunrise is a gift we are blessed with most mornings.

For those that could not witness this remarkable dawn, we were able to capture and share with you all.

Enjoy this morning’s sunrise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit:? Mark A. Leon

Why a Folly Beach Sunrise is the Most Therapeutic Experience You Can Have

By Mark A. Leon

In a community focused on beauty, balance and family, where yoga and puppies rule and wellness is a state of body and mind, Charleston offers some of the most stress relief moments of therapeutic tranquility.? One that stands out is a Folly Beach sunrise.? It is often overlooked due to late nights or work obligations, but the few that make it out for a picture or surf cannot deny the power of the sun and ocean and how it puts you at complete peace.

If these words do not convince you,? I think these images will.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See you on the beach