Charleston Parks Conservancy Expands Programming Mission with New Hire, Additional Public Events

With the addition of more public programming, the Charleston Parks Conservancy is furthering its mission of connecting people to their parks in a way that inspires engagement and involvement in the Conservancy’s work to create stunning public spaces and a strong community. This year, the Conservancy created a new position of community engagement manager to organize more community programming in Charleston’s city parks.

Pam Zanowski, who has extensive experience in parks and recreation, has joined the Conservancy to fill this new role. She’ll be creating educational programs, developing partnerships with like-minded organizations and overseeing the Conservancy’s efforts to engage people in their parks.

‘We are fortunate to have so many beautiful parks and open spaces within the City of Charleston and for the Conservancy to have a presence in many of them,” Zanowski said. “I am eager and excited to build relationships with community members and work together to offer quality programs and activities that meet the needs of our residents.”

Part of the Conservancy’s expanded community engagement is the new Art in the Parks program. In April, the Conservancy awarded its first Charleston Parks Conservancy exhibition prize to Georgia artist Joseph Dreher, who participated in the the annual ArtFields competition showcasing the work of artists around the Southeast. Dreher will create a work of art to be displayed at Hampton Park later this year.

And this summer, the Conservancy was awarded a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for a project that will add public art programming along the West Ashley Greenway and Bikeway.

“Since its inception 10 years ago, the Conservancy has never lost sight of its core goal: connecting people to their parks. It’s what drives our organization,” said Harry Lesesne, executive director. “Whether it’s a park renovation, a new playground or a family friendly event in the park, we remain committed to creating stunning public spaces where people want to spend time outdoors, meet friends and neighbors, and develop a greater appreciation for our city’s parks.”

Upcoming community events in the parks include:

Parks and Pacies — Bring the little ones out into Charleston’s parks this fall. Join the Conservancy from 9-10 a.m. every Wednesday in September for the Parks and Pacies playgroup. Each week we will explore a different playground around Charleston (Sept. 6 at Hazel Parker Playground; Sept. 13 at Corrine Jones Park; Sept. 20 at Tiedemann Park; Sept. 27 at McMahon Playground). Surprises and snacks provided. Event is free, but please register at [](

Movies at Magnolia featuring “Moana” — Join the Charleston Parks Conservancy for a family fun movie night at Magnolia Park in West Ashley on Friday, Sept. 29. Come at 6 p.m. for Hawaiian-themed activities, including a photo booth, hula hooping and tie dye T-shirts (please bring your own shirt). Purchase an icy treat from Pelican’s SnoBalls or grab dinner from a local food truck before the movie. Free popcorn will be available from the City of Charleston Recreation Department. Bring chairs and blankets; the movie will begin at dark (about 7:15 p.m.). Pets on leashes are welcome. Disney’s “Moana” is the story of an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. For more information, visit [](

Intro to Photography in the Parks — Professional photographer Libby Williams will lead a three-hour class on the basics of photography in Charleston’s parks. The class is 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 7 at the Charleston Parks Conservancy office, 720 Magnolia Road, Suite 25, in West Ashley. Explore composition, light and techniques to learn how to take great photos of the parks and beyond. Participants will spend a few hours in the classroom and then go outside for hands-on instruction to perfect their craft and tell as story with their camera. Note: This class is not designed to teach attendees how to use their camera, so come with some basic knowledge of how the camera works. A DSLR camera is recommended, but all cameras are welcome. Cost is $40. Space is limited so please register at [](

Williams has been taking photos and doing graphic design work for the Charleston Parks Conservancy since its inception. She has worked as a photographer all over the state, region, country and even traveled around the world following her dream and telling stories for her clients. Her work has appeared locally in publications like Charleston magazine, City Paper, Skirt!, and Garden & Gun. Williams got her start in photography early, begging her parents for her first SLR camera at the age of 10. She hasn’t stopped shooting since.

Jazz Brunch in Hampton Park — Join the Charleston Parks Conservancy for brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 22. Bring your chairs and blankets and enjoy jazz music by Asa Holgate and his band while relaxing in Hampton Park. Admission is $10 and includes one free drink ticket for those 21 and older. Free admission for children 12 and under). Tickets are limited; purchase at []( Local food trucks Brunch Holiday, The Waffle Connection, Roti Rolls, and Notes Curbside Coffees will have food available for purchase along with beer, wine and mimosas. No coolers or pets allowed. Also, Charleston Moves will be hosting a Pedal to the Parks bike ride that morning, ending at Hampton Park in time for the Jazz Brunch. To participate in the bike ride or for more information go to [](

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