Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sparkleberry Fair, 2011

Every April, residents of northeast Columbia turn out for the annual Sparkleberry County Fair at the Clemson University Sandhill Research and Education Center (REC).  This year's fair, held on April 30th, was no different!  The Carolina Children's Garden co-sponsored a booth under the Clemson tent to share information about composting and raise awareness of the Garden and its education programs. 

Children learn about vermicomposting at the Garden's booth

Other exhibits included a Conservation Station display featuring natural artifacts and mystery boxes.  The Conservation Station, sponsored by the Richland Soil & Water Conservation District and located at the REC, is a sister site to the Carolina Children's Garden and offers conservation education programs for the public.  Like the programs at the Children's Garden, these programs are funded, in part, by a Community Conservation Grant from the Richland County Conservation Commission. 

Mystery Boxes:  Don't be shy! 

Jeff Laney (right), Associate Commissioner of the Richland Soil & Water Conservation District, talks turtles with interested fairgoers

Nearby, Dr. John Nelson, the "mystery doctor with the mystery plant" on the popular SCETV program Making it Grow!, identified plants and discussed botany with fair-goers at the USC Herbarium table.

The USC Herbarium table was next to the Garden's booth

The Sparkleberry Fair is a community festival "about education, for education."  Exhibits and events at the Fair revolve around a theme of agriculture education and historical lifeways, and all proceeds from the fair benefit local students.  The 17th annual Sparkleberry Fair will be held in April, their website for details at

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