Brookgreen Gardens

Learn more about the Carolina Parakeet in the Lost Birds Exhibit. 

“Jam-packed” is how Lauren Joseph describes Brookgreen Gardens during this year’s fall months. And the season’s scheduled events confirm the marketing director’s opinion.

Brookgreen Gardens, which recently received the American Public Gardens Association Garden Excellence Award, is at 1931 Brookgreen Drive in Murrells Inlet.

The phone number is 843-235-6000 and the website is www.brookgreen.org.

Birding excursions

On Sept. 27, Oct. 11, Oct. 25, Nov. 8 and Nov. 22, from 6:30 – 10 a.m. each day, enjoy Birding Excursions with avid birder Hal Vivian who was a member of the Bucks County, Pennsylvania Audubon Society and the Waccamaw Audubon Society where for two years, he served as president.

After checking in at the front gate and meeting at the Welcome Center, 11 guests for each excursion will board a vehicle from the center and go to Beach Alley, Pond Road, Oaks, and back to Beach Alley.

The website explains there will be a significant amount of walking, and participants need to bring a hat, sunglasses, closed-toe outdoor shoes, insect repellant, water and binoculars.

Participants must be at least 12 years old. Tickets are $10 for members and $25 for non-members.

National Sculpture Society’s 86th Exhibit

Through Sunday, Oct. 27, this annual juried exhibition is presented by the oldest professional organization of sculptures in the country.

It presents the work of masters as well as rising stars in American sculpture.

Fifteen awards are given by the National Sculpture Society along with the People’s Choice Award which is voted on by visitors to Brookgreen.

Admission to this exhibit, which is on display in the Jennewein and Noble galleries in the Rainey Sculpture Pavilion, is free with regular Brookgreen admission.

Brookgreen Gardens is the only venue for this exhibit.

African American Fiber Art Traveling Exhibition – Black Gold

Also through Sunday, Oct. 27, this traveling exhibit includes, according to www.brookgreen.org, 26 pieces of exceptional quality fiber art handcrafted by African American fiber artists from all over the country.

The exhibit is on display in the Wall Lowcountry Center Auditorium. The exhibit’s theme, Black Gold, was inspired by the song of the same name by Esperanza Spalding.

Pieces on display were chosen from the 13th Annual African American Fiber Art Exhibition: BLACK GOLD, organized by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts.

Lost Bird Exhibit

The Carolina Parakeet, the only parrot species native to the southeastern United States, was declared extinct in 1939.

Through Nov. 3, Brookgreen will display bronze sculptures of the extinct great auk, Labrador duck, passenger pigeon, heath hen, and the Carolina Parakeet to, as the website says, “chronicle humankind’s impact on our changing world.”

Each sculpture is permanently on display where it was last seen.

For the Carolina Parakeet, that was in the 1920s in the wild near Kissimmee Prairie State Park in Okeechobee, Florida.

This traveling Lost Bird Exhibit brings the sculptures of Todd McGrain to the Grand Strand. McGrain will be speaking at Brookgreen on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 1 p.m.

Joseph said when he was a guest speaker previously, he said, “Just imagine all of our trees filled with bright gold and green parakeets,” and explained that they were killed by people who thought they were pests, and were used to adorn ladies’ hats.

Harvest Home Weekend

Brookgreen Gardens’ annual fall festival, Harvest Home Weekend, is Saturday, Oct. 5 and Sunday, Oct. 6, 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. both days.

One of the venue’s biggest family events, kids and their parents can paint pumpkins they choose from a huge patch.Small pumpkins are $4, larger ones are $9 and of course, families get to keep their pumpkins to decorate with at home.

The $5 scarecrow building contest is a year-long challenge for many visitors.

According to Brookgreen’s website, “Many families start planning their scarecrow for next year the minute the current year is over.”

The $4 per person hayrides are from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Tickets are available at the cashier stations.

The two-day event includes kid-friendly entertainment, up-close and personal meetings with animals, and the opportunity to explore all of Brookgreen.

Gullah Geechee Program Series – Down by the Riverside and Other Spirituals

Brookgreen’s website invites guests to “Sing along with Ron Daise and learn Gullah songs that shaped the culture.

From sorrow songs to baptism, code message, children’s, work, and funeral songs, participants will gain an understanding and an appreciation for Gullah Geechee heritage.”

October dates for the Gullah Geechee Program Series are Wednesday, Oct. 9, Wednesday, Oct. 16, Wednesday, Oct. 23, Wednesday, Oct. 30, all at 1 p.m.

November dates are Wednesday, Nov. 6 and Wednesday, Nov. 13, also at 1 p.m.

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I'm the assistant editor of the Carolina Forest Chronicle. I write news and business features. Have a great story idea? Please call me at 843-602-9306.

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