Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Southern Toads are Breeding

Today around the ponds at the Clemson Sandhill Research and Education Center (where the Children's Garden is located) dozens of Southern Toads are calling. The call is a high-pitched trill that lasts for several seconds. The males have a vocal sac that inflates as they call making the noise louder. The males are calling for females. Once a female finds him, they mate as the female lays long strings of jelly-like eggs. You can probably find some eggs if you look closely among the lily pads on the edge of the water.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Warm Welcome!

The Carolina Children's Garden welcomes Timothy "Tim" Nafziger as its new Outdoor Educator!  Tim holds a B.S. in Biological Science from Clemson (2007) and an M.S. in Entomology from Auburn (2010). His most recent work experiences include being a school program instructor at Roper Mountain Science Center, interpreter at Paris Mountain State Park and adjunct biology instructor at Greenville Tech. Tim hails from Greenville, SC, and will assume his new role on Tuesday, September 6th.

The Carolina Children's Garden and Conservation Station phone number, (803) 459-3212, will pass to Tim, as will the e-mail addresses for both  sites ( and

Welcome to Sandhill, Tim!


September Workday

Following a summer hiatus, Master Gardeners and community volunteers turned out in force for the September workday.  Included on the long list of the day's accomplishments were:
  • weeding
  • pruning
  • planting
  • installing a new ABC book in the Alphabet Garden
  • installing a new Peter Rabbit book in Mr. McGregor's Garden
  • installing six new Winnie-the-Pooh characters
  • re-installing the T. rex
Many thanks to everyone who turned out to lend a hand! 

Marie Daniels and Mary Kelley tend the Butterfly Garden

Maureen Mitchell and Joyce Tillman work in Mr. McGregor's Garden

Everyone takes a break!

A Fond Farewell

Dear Reader,

Hello.  I am Chanda, and for two years, I've served as the Naturalist/Educator at the Carolina Children's Garden and Conservation Station at Sandhill.  During my tenure at Sandhill, I've learned a lot, grown a lot, and made many new friends.  It's been a fun and wonderful experience.  Now, it's time for me to pass the torch to someone new.

In May of this year, I accepted a new job as Education Program Coordinator for the Richland County Environmental Planning Division.  The Division provides staff support to the Richland Soil and Water Conservation District (which sponsors the Conservation Station) and the Richland County Conservation Commission (which helps to fund the education programs at the Carolina Children's Garden and Conservation Station through separate Community Conservation Grants).  Through those connections, I will still be affiliated with education programming at Sandhill, but on September 6th, 2011, a new Outdoor Educator will take my place to coordinate and present programs at the two sites.

The Carolina Children's Garden e-mail address,, will go to the new Educator, as will the phone number, (803) 459-3212.

To reach me, contact or (803) 576-2084.

In the words of Bilbo Baggins, "This is the end.  I am going now.  I bid you all a very fond farewell.  Goodbye."


Operation Inasmuch

A volunteer workforce from Living Springs Lutheran Church descended on the Children's Garden for Operation Inasmuch on Saturday, May 7th.  Church volunteers tackled a number of difficult projects in the Garden as well as in the adjacent Conservation Station, and their efforts made a huge difference to the two sites!

Dinosaurs in the Mesozoic Memories Dinosaur Garden received fresh coats of paint.  The T. rex was tickled pink!  

Wet Paint in the Mesozoic Memories Dinosaur Garden

Wayward saplings in Pooh's Corner were removed with shears and shovels.  

Best of all, the brick pathway at the Garden's entrance was repaired!  This is what the pathway looked like before repair...
During repair...
And after repair!

Workforce organizer, Karen Kranz, tidied the gardens around the stage. 

Helpers pulled weeds in the annual beds at the Three Bears' Homestead.  

 In the Conservation Station next door, two workers cleared the nature trail and removed old trail markers that posed a stumbling hazard, making the path safer for walkers!

These are the old trail markers which were removed and carted to the trailhead for disposal:

On behalf of the Carolina Children's Garden and all the patrons who enjoy the site, THANK YOU to Operation Inasmuch! 

May Workday

Master Gardener Howard van Dijk pruned the palmetto trees. 

On the last workday before summer, held on May 5, 2011, Master Gardeners and community volunteers tackled several projects in the Carolina Children's Garden.   Trees were pruned, weeds were pulled, plants were planted, and sweat was spilled!  Two Master Gardeners tackled the Winnie-the-Pooh characters, many of whom needed touching up and detailing following the Storybook Painting Party held earlier in the spring. 

Carolina Children's Garden Education Coordinator, Arlene Marturano, added detail to Rabbit's expression.

Joyce Bibby, Carolina Children's Garden Workday Coordinator, gave Eeyore lots of TLC!

Carolina Children's Garden workdays are held on the first Thursday of the month, September-May.  For details or to find out how you can help at the next workday, contact carolinachildrensgarden (at) gmail (dot) com. 

Lenticels in the Lens Gallery

Winning entries in the first Carolina Children's Garden photo contest, "Lenticels in the Lens," were displayed in a gallery at the Sandhill Farmer's Market on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011.  Passers-by admired the many wonderful submissions, and many asked that all-important question--"What is a lenticel, anyway?"

In short, a lenticel is a plant's pore-like structure that allows gas exchange.  Read more about them here, then go take a look at a tree in your neighborhood.  Trees in the rose family, like cherries and apples, often have prominent lenticels that are easy to observe.

Jimmy Parrott, a winner in the youth division, stopped at the gallery to receive his certificate.

Congratulations to all the photographers who submitted winning entries, and thanks to everyone who participated in this inaugural competition!