Park Resource Manager Corinna Hanson hosted the early morning field trip which enlightened students aged 10 to 14 years on many aspects of wildlife and endangered species in South Carolina as well as the active management efforts of the park to conserve and restore the long-leaf pine ecosystem.
Some of the students did spot the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker and all were enthralled to see a sleeping flying squirrel in a 21-feet high cavity that was original built by a woodpecker.
The massive 7,300-plus acres of Cheraw State Park is mainly encompassed by the longleaf pine ecosystem. The park is actively managing this ecosystem by implementing techniques to conserve and restore the longleaf pine so that the red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW) and the other species dependent on the eco-system can thrive in this area.
RCWs are a federally-endangered species, mainly due to habitat loss from the disappearance and historical mismanagement of the longleaf pine forest. In the U.S., numbers of these birds were once in the millions, and today the population is estimated at 20,000. The RCWs at Cheraw State Park are part of a broader bird population that also includes the Sandhills State Forest and Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge.
As Cheraw State Park continues their efforts to restore the longleaf pine eco-system, the visiting public will be able to enjoy watching RCWs and a multitude of other rare plants and animals for years to come.
For information go to www.southcarolinaparks.com or call Corinna Hanson, Park Resource Manager, at (843)537-9656. Tours and information are always available.
CHEFS, Carolina Home Educator Family Support group, founded locally by a new comer to Cheraw in 2005 was pleased to announce a name change earlier this year from Chesterfield to Carolina as a way of encompassing the expanded area in which CHEFS serves.
CHEFS continues to provide numerous families in Chesterfield. Plans are currently underway for yet another expansion into Marlboro County.
For more information about homeschooling or about CHEFS please visit www.chefsgroup.org or call (843) 537-9463 or (910) 997-6055.