Frequently Asked Questions
When can I come visit? What do I have to do to book a tour? Find the answers to these and many more questions below. If you have additional questions, please call us at (843) 519-0478 or email Dr. Jim Frederick.
What is the PDREC and what do you do here?
When can I visit? Can I visit anytime I want?
How do I schedule a guided tour of your trail?
Is there a fee for a guided tour?
Do I need to schedule a guided tour, or do you have other options?
What can I expect on a trail tour?
What topics can I choose from on a tour?
Do I need to bring anything with me on the tour?
Are there any facilities or amenities on the trail?
Do you have any other education events besides trail tours?
Are you on Facebook?
Can you identify a weed for me?
Do you process soil samples?
I have a problem with my garden/lawn. Where can I get information on my problem?
What is the Fenced Garden?
I visited the Fenced Garden and want more information on the plants there. Who do I contact?
What is the PDREC and what do you do here?
Briefly, the Pee Dee Research and Education Center (PDREC) is one of Clemson's many agricultural research facilities around the state, and is dedicated to conducting research and education focused on traditional and new plant-based systems appropriate to the Pee Dee region of South Carolina and of importance to South Carolina residents. To find out more, visit our PDREC home page and our Research pages.
Clemson Research and Education Centers
Not exactly. The PDREC is open to the public every week, Monday-Friday 8am-4:30pm. However, we are a private research facility, and all visits, tours, etc. need to be scheduled in advance. Contact us at (843) 519-0478 to book a free tour of the Outdoor Education Trail or Fenced Garden. If you want to attend an agricultural workshop you see listed on the Pee Dee REC's home page, please call our main office, or the specific contact agent for that event.
You may visit the Fenced Garden by our main building anytime Monday-Friday 9am-4pm without an advance appointment. Simply stop by the main office to sign in, and tour the garden at your leisure. Please remember to sign out before you leave. Self-guided tour brochures are available in the box at the garden entrance.
How do I schedule a guided tour of your trail?
Contact Dr. Jim Frederick at (843) 519-0478 to book a free tour of the Outdoor Education Trail or Fenced Garden. Tours are offered on a first-come-first-served basis. Please be aware that due to weather conditions, staff work schedules, and schedule conflicts with previously booked tours, a given date you are interested in may not be available. We will work with you to schedule the best possible date. Tours and other Trail events may be subject to cancellation during inclement weather.
As of June 30, 2016, our youth education activities are now associated with Clemson's 4-H program and are offered to youth ages 5-19, but our community education programs and public events have no age limits.
IMPORTANT: As of June 30, 2016, new Clemson policies require that all groups visiting the Outdoor Education Trail for tours must have a signed liability release form for each participant, and must provide us with proof of group liability insurance or contact us to make other arrangements, prior to visiting. In addition, all groups visiting our trail must have at minimum a 1:10 ratio of teachers/chaperones to children under 18.
Please see the Schools page for further information on policies and requirements for groups visiting the trail.
For public open events such as Pee Dee Outdoor Discovery Day, families with children under 18 must have at least one parent or guardian accompany their child(ren) at all times.
Clemson PDREC Liability Release Form
There is currently no charge for most guided tours. The only exceptions are tours that involve activities that use up supplies that need replacing, for example a chemical-based water quality testing activity. For such tours we charge a small fee per person to cover the cost of supplies.
Please see the question on general visiting hours and self-guided tours.
Our tours are usually conducted during the morning between 8:30am and 12pm, weather permitting, followed by an optional BYO lunch at our picnic area. Occasionally we have afternoon tours, and during spring and fall, your group can opt for an afternoon tour instead. Your group's tour may be in-depth on one particular topic, or be a combination of several different or interrelated topics, whichever you prefer.
Our tours are compatible with SC state science standards, and youth education programs are offered as part of Clemson Extension's 4-H program. Upon request, a 4-H science specialist can also visit your school before or after your visit to the Trail, to discuss the Trail activities with your students or to provide follow-up education that reinforces concepts encountered on the Trail.
Please also see the question on what to bring on a tour.
We have a large variety of nature and agriculture-related topics for your group to choose from, including forests, crops (traditional and bio-energy), wildlife, soil science, water resources, ecosystems, biodiversity, garden science, and many more. Contact us for a list of potential topics. Please be aware that not all topics are taught at all age levels; we organize our tours to suit the learning needs and skills of each grade level, and some concepts are too advanced for younger children.
You will need to bring everything with you that you need for your visit, including bottled water. The trail is entirely outdoors and about a mile from the main building. There is space to park at the top of the trail, but no running water or electricity, etc. In addition to drinking water and any food you wish to bring, you will also need good closed-toed walking shoes (sport/tennis shoes work fine), and be dressed for the weather. In summer, we recommend you also bring a hat and sunscreen. You may also want to bring along insect repellent, as there are mosquitoes and other insects on our property.
You may also wish to bring along items like binoculars or field guides that will make your experience more enjoyable for you. And don't forget your camera!
Please keep in mind that we have numerous wildlife on our property. Please observe a "leave no trace" policy, and clean up any trash or unwanted food items and discard them in the trash cans provided.
Please also read the question on things you need to bring. There are no amenities or facilities of any sort on the trail, other than a portable bathroom near our picnic area during tour season (spring - late fall). You will need to bring all water, food, etc. along with you. Restroom facilities are available in the main building during working hours.
Our picnic area boasts a beautiful view of Dargan's Pond, our 150-acre lake, and is a favorite spot with visitors to the trail.
Yes, we have several events throughout the year. Most events will be posted on this website and on our Facebook page. Our largest and most popular public event of the year, Pee Dee Outdoor Discovery Day, is held the first weekend in May. You can view our album here. Contact us to learn more about our events.
Yes! Like us and follow us at Clemson PDREC Public Education or go to: www.facebook.com/clemsonpdreced. Our page is public, so it is accessible to anyone by using the link above; you do not need a Facebook account to be able to see our page. Visit our page to see our latest posts on many science topics ranging from what's currently blooming in our gardens or on our trail, to insects, to wildlife... and much more! We also post event announcements and the latest news in our Education Program on there. Check out our albums to see pictures of past events or to take a virtual trail tour.
If you have visited the PDREC before, please consider providing us with feedback by email, or post a review on our Facebook page. We love to hear from our visitors!
You are likely looking for your county's Extension office, which is where you should go to have weed and other plant specimens identified, or to have a plant disease identified. You can also download free publications on weed ID and many other useful plant-related topics from Clemson's Home and Garden Information Center website.
No. Again, this is something for which you need to go to your county's Extension office. For a small fee, they will send your soil sample to the lab on the main campus for analysis, and give you detailed results, usually within a few weeks. Please contact your county's Extension office in advance for information on how to collect the sample, what sample size is needed, etc.
For a DIY solution, visit the Home and Garden Information Center website. During certain hours, you can also call the HGIC, and trained agents will be available to speak to you about your problem if you need additional help. Or you can visit your county's Extension office to get help in person. Please note: all information provided on these sites is relevant to South Carolina and the Southeastern U.S. If you are visiting our website from outside this region, welcome and we're glad you dropped by... but please take the different environment into consideration, and try to research extension websites in your own region for specific information.
The Fenced Garden is the area with the white picket fence next to our main building. In the garden is a series of raised beds, each with a different theme. The garden is maintained by the Florence County Master Gardeners Association. It is a great place to learn about many native and exotic flowers and vegetables that you might find in your own backyard, or to get ideas on how to start your own garden. Please come visit! There is now the option to take a self-guided tour of the garden, or you may contact the Florence County Master Gardeners Association to arrange for a guided tour. Please see the question on visiting hours and self-guided tours.
We are glad you were able to visit our garden; we hope you enjoyed it and we are excited that you want to learn more! Please contact the Florence County Master Gardeners Association to get answers to questions on specific plants, or gardening in general.