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About Us

Where Nature and Culture Meet

The South Carolina Botanical Garden (SCBG), located on the campus of Clemson University, is a diverse 295-acre garden of natural and manicured landscapes within the South Carolina Piedmont ecosystem. Together with a nationally recognized nature-based sculpture collection, distinguished education and outreach programs and the Bob Campbell Geology Museum, the SCBG is a premier site for experiencing nature and culture.

What began in 1958 as a camellia preserve on a small parcel of land adjacent to John C. Calhoun's 19th century Fort Hill estate has since grown to 295 acres of cultivated landscapes and natural woodlands. Designated as the State's botanical garden in 1992, the Garden is at the intersection of Highway 76 and Pearman Boulevard at Clemson University. Visitors are welcome free of charge, every day, dawn to dusk.

The South Carolina Botanical Garden offers monthly First Friday Nature Walks for adults, as well as a variety of cultural and educational programs for children and families throughout the year. The Nature-based Sculpture Collection has gained international recognition. Year-round programs for adults focus on sustainable gardening and natural history. Spring and Fall Plant Sales feature unusual landscape plants for Southeastern gardens with knowledgeable staff and volunteers on hand to help with plant selection.

The Garden is accessible by paths and trails, many of which are hard-surfaced. History buffs will enjoy the Hanover House (ca. 1716) and the Hunt Family Cabin (ca. 1826). Art connoisseurs will want to experience the Garden's collection of site-specific, nature-based sculptures and the art galleries in the Fran Hanson Visitor's Center. Other points of interest include the many demonstration gardens, such as the Camellia Garden, Wildlife Habitat Garden, Xeriscape Garden, Hosta Garden, 70-acre Schoenike Arboretum, Heritage Gardens and nature trails.

Also within the Garden, the Bob Campbell Geology Museum is open every day from 10:00am to 5:00pm and is home to an extensive collection of gems, minerals and fossils of the region. The Geology Museum boasts an elaborate fluorescent mineral display room and has the only saber-toothed cat exhibit in the Southeast. Visit the Geology Museum's website for more information.

Vision

To encourage connections between people and our natural world.

Mission

To serve as an interdisciplinary resource focusing on teaching, research and outreach that advances awareness and understanding of plants, animals, minerals and our culture.

Goals

Land Stewardship – The SCBG is committed to providing leadership in exploring environmental impacts and responsible land use management.

  1. Serve as a role model for preserving community greenspaces.
  2. Acquire and protect any available contiguous land.
  3. Explore the acquisition of property for satellite habitats and facilities.
  4. Apply best management practices for storm water issues, riparian zones, and controlling invasives.

Horticultural Leadership – The SCBG is committed to promoting excellence in horticulture.

  1. Provide habitats and planned gardens that are suitable to and exemplary of our bioregion.
  2. House nationally recognized collections including Ilex, Magnolia, Acer and Hydrangea species.
  3. Collect, evaluate, and introduce taxa with ornamental and/or cultural merit.
  4. Be a repository for federally endangered species.

Community Service – The SCBG is committed to providing a valued recreational, educational, and experiential environment for the public.

  1. Furnish quality services and amenities for guests.
  2. Interpret the SCBG environment and its relationship to all visitors.
  3. Be a significant component of community enrichment.
  4. Be a source of economic and cultural development for the university, city and state.

Interdisciplinary Programs – The SCBG is committed to scientific, educational and cultural excellence.

  1. Offer diverse programs in education, creative awareness, cultural heritage and youth development.
  2. Increase and diversify academic involvement.
  3. Develop mutually beneficial partnerships with other professions and disciplines.
  4. Establish effective programs for university students and researchers.