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Keeping the “wood” in our Woodland Garden

March 28, 2019 | Features

Written by Mary Snoddy, Finance & Business Director, Hatcher Garden Woodland Preserve

Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve encompass 12 acres of gardens, ponds, creeks, and paths. The garden changes from day to day, from season to season. There is something new to enjoy every day.


Visitors are sometimes surprised that we do not remove downed trees unless they pose a potential hazard to our guests. These “snags” are important to maintain an ecologically sound wildlife habitat. The dead or dying trees offer support to fungi and bacteria, insects and invertebrates. They offer food sources and housing to birds, bees, and butterflies as well as rabbits, squirrels, and turtles.  


The snags are particularly attractive to woodpeckers. A pair of hawks spend every winter at Hatcher. They raise a family each spring and are not shy about sharing their space with garden visitors. Turtles love to sunbathe atop a snag that floats in one of the ponds. The butterfly garden is planted with species that offer nectar and pollen.


This collection of wildlife in the city offers an abundance of educational opportunities. Last year, more than 42,000 visitors walked the paved or wood-chipped paths that meander through the grounds. Of these, more than 14,600 were children. We offer guided education tours year-round for K4 through Grade 6 in our outdoor classroom with hands-on learning activities. We reach children from private and public schools, early childhood learning centers, daycares, home-schooled groups, and after- schoolers. Last year Hatcher Garden hosted two camps, SC standards-based science and art camps for K4 and Grade 3. This year we are offering a five-day Summer Sciences and Art Camp for ages 8-11, June 17-21.


The most recent hardscape improvement is the addition of a rock wall entrance and sign. The entry is being widened and a turnaround/drop off point is being added for the safety and convenience of visitors. A parking lot expansion is in progress. An exciting new children’s garden is planned. 


Our facilities are free of charge; open every day of the year. We serve adults of all ages, encompassing college students, working professionals, and senior citizens, with a welcoming green space offering exercise, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Printed maps of the garden and its features are available in the Jess Taylor Pavilion. 

Come see what is new at Hatcher Garden & Woodland Preserve.

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