Staying Connected to Our Parks

Our hearts go out to you and your loved ones as we continue to weather these unprecedented times in our community and our world. Like you, we miss connecting with people in our parks, especially during this beautiful spring weather. But our parks are here for us and are waiting patiently to welcome us back when the time is right.

Despite park closures to the public, the Conservancy staff continues to work in accordance with recommended DHEC social distancing guidelines to care for our spaces. Plants and trees still need watering, shrubs need trimming, and community garden beds need tending and harvesting. Without focused care and attention, it won’t take long for our beautiful parks to not be so beautiful anymore, and we are determined to keep our spaces vibrant and thriving. This week, in particular, is peak bloom season for Colonial Lake Park, Hampton Park, and others, and we can see the fruits of the horticultural staff’s labor throughout the winter months as roses and gardens burst into vibrant and colorful blooms.

The staff has also been very busy in our community gardens this month. Without the help of regular volunteers, the staff is working diligently to keep the production of the community gardens at the essential level needed for area organizations to provide groceries and meals to our neighbors dealing with homelessness, illness and those affected by COVID-19. Fruit species planted one and two years ago will bear fruit this year to provide added nutritional value to donated foods. Availability of staff to harvest berries and other fruit is crucial so that these fresh foods do not go to waste in a time when many of those in our community are looking for ways to feed themselves and their families. Since the COVID-19 crisis began, the Conservancy has donated 282 pounds of fresh produce to our local food pantry partners to help feed those in need. This extra help is needed now more than ever, particularly for the elderly community and other vulnerable populations that are afraid to go out and buy food.

We encourage you to follow your Charleston Parks on __[Instagram](https://www.instagram.com/charlestonparks/)__, __[Facebook](https://www.facebook.com/CharlestonParksConservancy/)__, and __[Twitter](https://twitter.com/CharlestonParks)__ to see how the Conservancy is continuing to connect people with their community, through produce donations, interactive video gardening instruction, horticulture education, and more.  

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