OUTDOOR CLASSROOM – EDUCATIONAL TRAINING TOURS

All tours will take place on Wednesday, July 24. Departure and return times are subject to change. Final details will be provided at www.swcs.org/24AC. The tours will give exposure to interesting and informative conservation work happening in the area. Be sure to register early to secure a seat. SWCS reserves the right to cancel a tour that does not have the minimum number of attendees and to change the maximum number of attendees.

Tour #1: Fire, Farming, and Flora of Coastal South Carolina
Wednesday, July 24
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

This tour is hosted in conjunction with the Department of Natural Resources, Coastal Conservation League, Friends of Lewis Ocean Bay, and Freewoods Farm. Attendees will explore the historic landscapes of Horry County, featuring Carolina bays, longleaf pine savannas, and rare plants such as carnivorous pitcher plants. We will begin at Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve, which features 23 intact Carolina bays and isolated freshwater wetlands on the Eastern seaboard. These fire-dependent ecosystems present unique challenges for burn managers due to the peat-based soils and pocosin vegetation. In the afternoon, we will visit Freewoods Farm, a historical living farm museum highlighting the contributions of African-American farmers post-Civil War and early 20th century eras. Lunch will be provided.

Tickets: $100 early/$125 late (after June 3)/$150 onsite (after July 3)

View the Tour 1 Agenda.

Tour #2: Women-Led Communities in Agriculture Tour
Wednesday, July 24
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM 

Embark on an enlightening journey with our "Women-Led Communities in Agriculture" tour, celebrating female empowerment and innovation in the agricultural sector. Supported by Women in NRCS (WiN), this tour showcases two exemplary agricultural operations, each under the stewardship of visionary women who are not just sustaining their family legacies but also nurturing their communities through agriculture.

First, we introduce you to a dynamic woman who has transformed a 40-acre farm into a beacon of agritourism. As the mastermind behind an array of community-engaging initiatives, she invites you into her world where farm tours, vibrant festivals, and educational summer camps flourish. Here, children and adults alike immerse themselves in the hands-on learning of agricultural practices, connecting with the earth and understanding the importance of sustainable farming.

Our journey continues with a visit to a non-certified organic farm, where another pioneering woman integrates agriculture with wellness and education. Known for her innovative goat yoga sessions, she offers a unique blend of physical well-being and close-to-nature experiences. With a passionate commitment to early childhood development, she collaborates with the public school system and organizes community events, showcasing the role of agriculture in fostering educational growth and development from a young age.

Throughout the tour, our hosts will share their inspiring stories, shedding light on how they navigated challenges and seized opportunities to make a difference. They will delve into the generational shifts in farming, celebrate their achievements, and discuss the vital role women play in advancing community-oriented agriculture.

Join the "Women-Led Communities in Agriculture" tour to witness firsthand the impact these remarkable women have on their localities, paving the way for future generations in agriculture. It's more than a tour; it's an opportunity to see, feel, and understand the transformative power of women in agriculture and their contributions to community resilience and sustainability.

Tickets: $75 early/$100 late (after June 3)/$125 onsite (after July 3)

View the Tour 2 Agenda.

Tour #3: Myrtle Beach Walking Tour
Wednesday, July 24
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM 

Welcome to Myrtle Beach, where sunshine meets the sea, and every step is a journey through history and nature. This will be an active walking tour featuring speakers who will discuss a few of the area's conservation challenges, such as saltwater intrusion. As sea levels rise along the coasts, saltwater is being pushed up into freshwater. Saltwater intrusion can occur when storm surges, or high tides overtop areas low in elevation or when saltwater infiltrates freshwater aquifers and raises the groundwater table below the soil surface. More information regarding stops will be provided in future materials. Attendees should anticipate walking around 2 miles, although there will be rest stops along the way. A maximum of 30 people may join this tour, so register early!

Tickets: $50 early/$75 late (after June 3) /$100 onsite (after July 3)

View the Tour 3 Agenda.