I do a good bit of work with garden clubs throughout the CSRA. Sometimes it is just speaking at their meetings about what is going on in Extension, which lots of times leads into what is happening in the landscapes. I have met a lot of new friends and rekindled some relationships from folks that are members of these clubs.
A few months ago at a luncheon where I was invited to speak, I got to visit with two lifelong friend’s parents that I would consider as second moms. I call them second moms because I spent so much time at their house as a kid that I’m surprised my mother and dad weren’t having to pay them some type of rent for me. Some garden clubs are very active in the community doing volunteer work or even putting on specialty events.
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This time there is a happening at the Morris Museum of Art that I think is going to be spectacular. Sand Hills Garden Club which was founded in 1927 is going to honor the late Sissie Morris, who I was lucky enough to know my entire life, with a flower show. On October 19th and 20th at the Morris Museum, Sand Hills Garden Club will host “A Southern Sojourn” where art, horticulture, photography, floral and botanical design meet to share the beauty of creativity collaborating with nature. In the past I have seen some of the work several participants have done and the level of creativity is difficult to fathom.
Artist nationwide will present their work Wednesday, October 19th from 2:00-5:00 PM and Thursday, October 20th from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the Morris Museum of Art @ 1 Tenth Street in downtown Augusta. Admission to the show is free and open to the public.
As for more happenings around town…I am part of the CSRA Environmental Science Education Cooperative which is comprised of a great group of educators from a variety of fields that have something to do with the environment. A big chunk of our group does work related to stormwater.
We have members from North Augusta, Aiken County, and Columbia County Stormwater Departments. These guys along with some local engineers, organizations like Phinizy Swamp and Richmond County formed the CSRA Stormwater Alliance and they are celebrating its first ever “Stormwater Awareness Week” this week. This group works in their respective fields and sees stormwater from different angles. They take these experiences to learn from one another with the goal of protecting our water resources from stormwater pollution.
In an effort to educate the CSRA about the importance of stormwater quality, they hosted an array of events throughout the week on subjects like “what is your stormwater”, “how to increase infiltration”, “minimizing runoff” and “reducing pollutants”. Why is this important? Water is our #1 natural resource. Only 2 ½ % of water is freshwater and it is vital to survival. Water flows downhill and anything that doesn’t evaporate, infiltrate into the soil land or land into a retention area ends up in the Savannah River. The Savannah River is the main water source for 1.4 million people and is the biggest source of water for the Augusta and Savannah areas.
Minimizing pollutants that end up in rivers and eventually into the ocean is necessary to human survival as well as maintaining the fine balancing act of aquatic-based life in river basins and into the sea. Little things like picking up pet waste or the slowing water runoff so it can work its way into the soil can make a huge overall positive impact on our water systems.
The more people that are educated to take these small steps can change the overall trajectory of water pollution for many generations to come. Lots of good people doing great things for our area. I am lucky and proud to know them and what they are doing for my family, friends and community.
This article originally appeared on Augusta Chronicle: Vaughn: Local lower show event and stormwater awareness