Charleston Horticultural Society and local partners debut new educational pollinator garden at St. Andrews School of Math & Science

from Staff Reports

As COVID-19 was in the midst of making its way across the country last spring, Charleston Horticultural Society (CHS) was in the beginning stages of expanding their educational outreach programming by creating a new partnership with neighboring elementary school St. Andrew’s School of Math & Science right down the street from the CHS Hort offices in the South Windermere Shopping Center … and then everything shut down.

Despite the extreme restriction, both groups powered on, making plans via email and phone calls, bringing in a professional landscape designer and rounding up partnerships with organic composting company Soil3 and West Ashley-based native plant nursery Roots and Shoots, located on Wappoo Road.

“We were determined to make this work despite the many obstacles before us,” said CHS executive director Kyle Barnette. “Luckily we had partners who were just as passionate and determined as we were to make it happen.”

Fast forward to spring of 2021 when CHS board member and landscape designer Claudia McNab brought forth her design for a pollinator garden that would fill a neglected corner space of the school’s outdoor activity area. In collaboration with Roots and Shoots Nursery she developed a plan that will feature a variety of native plants that were also pollinators, plants that attract butterflies, bees and birds which are vital to flower pollination.

Organic composting company Soil3 donated two of their infamous Big Yellow Bags of soil and CHS volunteers along with parent volunteers from the school spent a busy Saturday morning in March cleaning the garden space and laying the soil in preparation for the planting of the garden which happened as part of CHS’s April Sprit of Plantasia celebration.

“We could not be more thrilled with the results of the garden and the passionate dedication of our partners and volunteers,” says Barnette. CHS and the school have set up a watering system to keep the young garden healthy and have plans to build a pollinator educational component as part of the school’s curriculum along with art projects that will be featured in the garden as well.

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