Pee Dee Land Trust hosts  
Celebration of Black Creek BioBlitz at its Dargan Preserve
With generous support from Wells Fargo Foundation and Duke Energy Foundation

Darlington, S.C., September 25, 2016 –Pee Dee Land Trust welcomed a gathering of conservation-minded supporters and neighbors to its Louise and Woods Dargan Preserve on the southeast side of Darlington to celebrate the Black Creek BioBlitz and unveil its beautiful new kiosk and picnic area.   More than 600 area children from 3rd through 12th grades participated in the Black Creek BioBlitz as “environmental detectives”, using their natural skills to help the land trust identify native wildlife and vegetation at the 217-acre nature preserve.  Over the last year, a total of twenty-five groups from public and private schools, home schoolers, YMCA and other camps, 4-H clubs, Boys and Girls Clubs, and others participated in the BioBlitz, and each student received a Certificate of Excellence in Citizen Science for their work. The students were successful in identifying more than 32 species of trees, shrubs, plants, and fungi, and 83 species of reptiles, amphibians, birds, mammals, and insects.

The project was funded by generous grants from the Wells Fargo Foundation and the Duke Energy Foundation, and representatives from both companies were on hand to honor the work of the students and participate in the ribbon-cutting for the new kiosk. 

Jack Marchette, Pee Dee Market President for Wells Fargo

“The team at the Pee Dee Land Trust does such great work preserving resources in the Pee Dee and making them accessible to the people of South Carolina,” said Mindy Taylor, government and community relations manager for Duke Energy. “This is just another in a long line of great projects that Duke Energy is proud to help support.”

BioBlitz Project Team: biologist Sarah Rawlins, Project Coordinator;  field assistant Catelyn Anderson; field assistant Ben Camper; field assistant Eddie Lott.

BioBlitz Advisors: biology professor Dr. Jeff Steinmetz from Francis Marion University; landscape architect Amanda Morrell with Stantec; Teresa Lott with Clemson Extension.

The panels – designed by Amanda Morrell of Latta to feature maps of the Dargan Preserve, showcase the work of the Pee Dee Land Trust, describe the history of the land gift from Louise and Woods Dargan to the Black Creek Land Trust (which merged with the Pee Dee Land Trust in 2015), and highlight the Black Creek BioBlitz results.

Kiosks – William Lynn, with Dillon Boy Scout Troop 761, constructed the kiosk and preserve entrance fencing for his Eagle Scout project.