Monday, April 26, 2010

Lee State Natural Area, South Carolina. Part II. The Park Office Interpretive Center and Reception Area.

Click here for the first post in this series.

front sign Weather for this visit could hardly be better. Puffy clouds scudding southeast across a Carolina blue sky at quite a clip. Breezes strong enough to coax pleasing whispers from the tops of taller pines.

And those clouds and breezes combine to produce different shades of light. Sometimes bright sunshine; sometimes dark rain-threatening gloom; sometimes in between. Changing every few minutes. Trees, bushes, and undergrowth here look quite different in different light. Nice to see. Like visiting at different times of the year.

office 2 After pecking away on the computer for a while this morning after breakfast, I drove over to the Park Office for a closer look around.

classroom 1 Ranger Lester Shelley again was on duty. He suggested I look at the Park Office’s educational facilities. Most of this building’s square footage, other than the administrative office and reception area, has been arranged as a multipurpose classroom and workroom.

classroom 2 With tables and chairs adequate to accommodate quite a few students. Every wall is packed with attention-grabbing nature-related exhibits.

classroom 3 Someone here has a sense of what attracts and maintains the interest of visitors. Even younger visitors! The greatest challenge for any educator.

classroom 4 Walking out of the classroom area, I spied a corner of the workroom area that seemed to illustrate the nature education effort here at Lee State Park. Click on the photo above for a closer look.

Boxes of snake bedding, an attractive wooden reptile exhibit box, extra chairs for larger groups, a pine cone ideal for decoration or for explaining pine tree propagation, and bunches of long needle-looking white material that might be used to demonstrate or teach basket weaving techniques. It made me want to sit in on one of the classes!

award After a close look around the classroom, and at the educational displays and materials along the walls, I wasn’t at all surprised to see this award hung discreetly above one of the work area tables. Well deserved, I’d say.

Lee State Park’s reception hall too has been skillfully designed to provide maximum information about the area’s natural environment.

kids corner Even this narrow alcove, usually wasted space, has been turned into a learning center for some of the youngest guests. With appropriately sized chairs and table.

lynches river sign Be sure to take time to read the text of the various informational posters on the walls. Like this one on the Lynches River.

watersheds poster Or this more general description of South Carolina’s watersheds.

floodplains poster Or this one on the role of floodplains in the natural environment. Click the photo for a larger image. But you still may not be able to read the text. So, you’ll just have to visit! If you read through the text of these posters upon arrival you’ll have a better understanding of what you will see in the Park.

There’s much more to see here in the Park Office reception area. But it’s time to take a walk around the grounds, camera in hand. Ranger Lester had several “be sure not to miss” suggestions that were near the office. So stay tuned.

Click here for the next post in this series.

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