Bulls Bay Nature Festival - From the Forest to the Sea
Saturday March 23, 2013
First Annual Community Nature Festival!
The mission of the Bulls Bay Nature Festival - From the Forest to the Sea is to increase awareness, promote engagement and foster lasting connections with our unique natural places and wildlife in the Bulls Bay community.
Get outside! Bulls Bay community agencies, organizations, businesses, and churches came together to bring you the Bulls Bay Nature Festival - From the Forest to the Sea. Events happened in the Francis Marion National Forest, on Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, at Camp Sewee, Hampton Plantation State Historic Site and at the Sewee Visitor Center. Despite the inclement weather, over 200 participants came out to celebrate our unique natural places and abundant wildlife.
Nature enthusiasts accompanied ornithologist Dr. Dennis Forsythe to Ion Swamp to view Red-cockaded woodpeckers and migratory songbirds like the Northern parulas and Yellow-throated warblers. Nature Adventure naturalists led a paddle on Wambaw Creek while foresters took others into a Carolina Bay. Local historian Tim Penninger lead a forest van tour to tell the story of tar kilnsand civil war batteries in the Francis Marion. On the Bulls Island auto tour, people learned about the Old Fort and visited Boneyard Beach and Alligator Alley. Rangers at Hampton Plantation quided participants through the historic antebellum house and plantation gardens.
Kids practiced casting bait nets and caught Blue crabs at Camp Sewee and, at the Sewee Center, they learned their fishing knots and casting techniques before dropping their lines into the Sewee pond to reel in catfish. At the SC Department of Natural Resources simulator fishing van kids caught Blue Marlin! During the archery workshops, children and parents lined up to learn techniques with the bow and arrow before trying to hit the bulls eye. Families went on a wetland nature art walk with watercolor artist Jannah DuPre, tried their skill at sweet-grass basketry with Gullah-Geechee artisan Vera Manigault, and accompanied interpreter Rob Johnson to the Red wolf enclosure. There were reptile demonstrations which included venomous snakes like the cottonmouth and Diamondback rattle snake and, a fascinating raptor flying demonstration presented by the SC Center for Birds of Prey.
Dr. Patrick McMillan, Director of Clemson University Museum of Natural Sciences and host, creater and writer of the award-winning ETV nature program Expeditions with Patrick McMillan, closed the festival with "Nature on the Move", an inspiring presentation on the evolving forces of both nature and man that continually shape our landscapes.
Wildlife Art Contest and Exposition
Cape Romain Environmental Education Charter School (CREECS), St. James Santee Elementary and Lincoln Middle-High School students in grades 3 - 8 participated in the festival Wildlife Art Contest. The creativity and talents of the students were showcased in a beautiful wildlife art exhibit. Winners were chosen from two categories:3rd - 5th and 6th - 8th grades.The student's artwork will be selected for the 2014 Wildlife calendar that will be sold by community partners, with proceeds supporting school programs.
Also on exhibition were Lincoln Middle-High School 2013 Federal Junior Duck Stamp entries, conservation messages, and a collection of research posters created by Lincoln National Art Honors Society and National Junior Art Honors Society members. The Lincoln wildlife exhibit is a result of a year-long Environmental Conservation Research & Art Making Project envisioned, directed and taught by Ms. Annie Purvis, the Tri-County 2011-2012 Mary Whyte Art Educator of the Year. Joining the young artists were members of the McClellanville Arts Council, displaying striking natural works of art in silk painting, watercolor, ceramics, and stained glass, Wildlife and landscape photographer Ben Sumrell and wood craftsman Brantley Cumbee.
St. James Santee and CREECS students in first and second grades took a part in the festival with the naming of the two female Red wolf siblings at the Sewee Center. The wolves, previously known as 1703 and 1705, are now named Haley and Sierra.
Music and Food
The day was filled with musical entertainment as local musicians Kathie Livingston, the Lincoln Middle-High School Steel Band, The After English, Flat City and the Awendaw Community Singers performed distinct genres of music. The Awendaw Fire Department, Greater Zion AME, Nebo AME, Ocean Grove United Methodist, and McClellanville United Methodist churches prepared delicious homemade meals, burgers, hot dogs and desserts and the Sewee to Santee Community Development Corporation provided beverages and snacks.
Immense gratitude goes out to the businesses, companies, organizations and agencies for their generous support of the festival. Their strong relationships and contributions to the community allowed the partners to bring this festival to you.
|Advanced Animal Care of Mount Pleasant||McClellanville Realty||Palmetto Veterinarian Hospital|
|Awendaw Green||Nature Adventures||Sandra Bigelow DMD|
|Berkeley Electric||R.L. Morrison & Sons||Sonitrol|
|The Center for Birds of Prey||Sewee Outpost||St James Santee Family Medicine|
|Coastal Expeditions||Shelbourne & Associates||Buckshot's Restaurant|
|Home Team Pest Defense||Town of McClellanville||McClellanville Arts Council|
|Hughes Rental||Tractor Supply||McClellanville Feed & Seed|
|Image Branding Group||Carolina Seafood||SC Department of Natural Resources|
|James D. Hart DMD.PA||Classic Business Solutions LLC||Sewee Restaurant|
|Larsen's Automotive||Hidden Ponds Nursery||T W Graham & Co|
|Mahoney's Sign Company||Palmetto Heritage Bank & Trust|
|Awendaw Green||Francis Marion National Forest||SC Department of Natural Resources|
|Camp Sewee||Hampton Plantation State Historic Site||The Center for Birds of Prey|
|Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge||Nature Adventures Outfitters||Town of Awendaw|
|Clemson Cooperative Extension||Sewee Outpost||Town of McClellanville|
|Coastal Expeditions||Sewee to Santee Community Development Corporation||SEWEE Association|