New classroom is as big as all outdoors

By Tom Lollis

The newest classroom at Clemson’s Pee Dee Research and Education Center in Florence is as big as all outdoors. The Outdoor Education Trail offers visitors a close-up look at the natural resources of South Carolina’s Pee Dee region and tips on how to be good stewards of the environment.

Learning centers are being developed to display various ecosystems such as agricultural lands, forests, wetlands, a lake and even urban environments, according to Jim Frederick, a Clemson agronomist and project leader. The completed centers will feature both learning kiosks and demonstrations for innovative cropping systems, wildlife management, longleaf pines, crops, water quality, forest resources, American Indian culture, wildlife-friendly plants for the yard, and more.

The mile-long trail may be visited by invitation only for now, but it should be open to the public by spring. Hiking trails around the 150-acre Dargan’s Pond are planned, as well as a canoe trail on the pond.

For information: Jim Frederick, 843-662-3526, ext. 228,