25 Ways to Get your Green Hour in the Midlands

Written by Sara Green
Tuesday, 15 June 2010 15:03

Be sure to download the Nature Passport to log your Green Hours spent outside!!

1.      Collect litter in your neighborhood
To organize a community clean-up and receive supplies, contact Palmetto Pride.  You can also download the “Littering Isn’t Cool” Activity Book with fun games and coloring pages. 

2.      Ride your bike at Riverfront Park
3.      Put up a birdfeeder in your backyard
Visit your local Wild Birds Unlimited store to buy anything you need to attract songbirds, hummingbirds, and woodpeckers into your yard.  There are 4 stores in the Columbia area:

  • 4711 Forest Drive,  Columbia, SC 29206, Phone: (803) 782-5700
  • 1085 Lake Murray Blvd, Irmo, SC 29063, Phone: (803) 781-3480
  • 435 Columbia Ave., Lexington, SC 29072, Phone: (803) 951-2070
  • The Village at Sandhill, 130-3 Forum Drive, Columbia, SC 29229, Phone: (803) 736-4810

4.      Go tubing on the Congaree River
Adventure Carolina, on State Street in Cayce, rents tubes for $15 each.  Call them to rent – (803) 796-4505.  
5.      Stroll around the University of South Carolina campus
During the summer, it’s easy to find parking along the street – try parking on Sumter, College, or Green Streets on the west end of campus.  The Horseshoe is a great place to explore, then stop by the Russell House to shop at the bookstore and eat lunch.  There is also a certified Wildlife Habitat at the AC Moore Park at the corner of Blossom and Pickens streets.  Click here for a map of campus.  

6.      Draw a plant found in your yard
Send your drawing into the SC Wildlife Federation and we may use it in our newsletter or on our website!  Mail a copy to SCWF, 215 Pickens Street, Columbia, SC 29205.  (we will make every effort to return pictures after scanning, but are not responsible for lost drawings). 
7.      Visit the nature center at Harbison State Forest
8.      Blow bubbles in your front yard
Check out this page for lots of ideas for activities you can do with bubbles, how to make your own bubble solution, and how to make your own bubble wands!   

9.      Visit a certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat at Irmo Branch Library
Directions:  Take I-26 to Exit 104 (Piney Grove Road).  Turn left and follow Piney Grove to St. Andrews Road, Turn right.  The Irmo Branch of the Lexington County Library will be on your left.  The garden is behind the library – park towards the back of the parking lot. 
10.  Learn to use a compass on a hike around your neighborhood.  This website will show you how to use a compass.  
11.  Walk on the boardwalk at Congaree National Park
12.  Have a picnic with your family
Visit this website for a great list of parks in the Columbia area.  
13.  Walk your dog – or visit Saluda Shoals Barking Lot Doggie Park
Barking Lot requires registration fee, shot records, and proof of spay/neuter. 
Directions to Saluda Shoals: From Columbia, take I–26 west toward Spartanburg. Exit Piney Grove Road and turn left. Proceed approximately 1.5 miles to St. Andrews Road. Turn right, then left at the first traffic light. Saluda Shoals Park will be 1.5 miles on your left.
14.  Start a compost pile with your parents
DHEC's website has step-by-step instructions for starting a compost pile at home.  Buy a compost bin from Keep The Midlands Beautiful:  (803) 733-1139.  They are $20 without the base & lid and $25 with the base & lid.
15.  Play Disc/Frisbee Golf at Earlewood Park
Click Here for information on how to play Disc Golf 
Click here for a Hole-by-Hole Description of Earlewood Park Course
Directions:  Take I-126 to Columbia. Elmwood Exit (Left 2 lanes).  At the 3rd traffic light, turn (L) onto Main Street.  Stay on Main Street through a few lights. After you go down the hill and under the train trestle, Earlewood Park is on the left.  Take sharp (L) into park. Park by ball field and shelter. The first tee is behind the Rec. Center. 
16.  View the stars from your backyard
Go to the Richland County Public Library and check out a book about Stargazing to help you identify stars and constellations.   

17.  Dip your toes in Lake Murray at SCE&G’s beach
Directions: From Columbia, take I-26 West to exit 102A towards Lake Murray.  Follow Lake Murray Blvd to the dam.  Cross the dam, and the park is immediately after the dam on your right.  Entrance fees apply – see link above. 
18.  Start a rock collection
Here’s a great website with tons of information on rock collecting for kids.

19.  Roll down the hill at Irmo Town Park
Directions:  From Columbia, take I-26 West to exit 102A towards Lake Murray.  Follow Lake Murray Blvd and take a left onto Carlisle St, right before the Irmo Welcome Center. There is a sign that identifies the park on that corner. The park is on the left at the end of the street.
20.  Go fishing at your local watering hole
Click here for a website with places to fish
All adults in the group need a fishing license ($10) from SCDNR.     
21.  Go camping at Dreher Island or Sesquicentennial State Parks
Click here for a list of parks, events, hiking areas, and camping reservations
22.  Crawl through Eeyore’s house at the Sandhills Children’s Garden
Directions: To get there, take I-20 to exit 80, Clemson Rd. Head north on Clemson Rd and take the exit for Two Notch Rd. (US-1). You will take a left then a quick right- the entrance to the Clemson Sandhills Research Center is just a little to the left of the exit. Look for the signs. Follow the signs to the parking area for the Children's Garden.
23.  Plant a flower that attracts butterflies
Visit your local plant nursery or garden center and ask for native plants that attract butterflies.  Click here for a list of nurseriesClick here for a list of plants to look for.  
24.  Fly a kite at Finlay Park
Directions:  To get there, from I-126 take the Huger St. exit. Take a left on Laurel and the park will be on your right.
25.  Watch the sunset
Take a picture and have it enlarged and put it in a frame in your room to remind you how beautiful the outdoors is.  Or, submit your picture to the SCWF’s Photography Contest.  
2011 Green Hour Sponsors:
Earth Fare, Columbia
City of Columbia
Richland County Conservation Commission
**Green Hour is a program of the National Wildlife Federation and is used here with permission.  Visit http://www.greenhour.org for more information! Download your GreenHour Passport here!

Last Updated ( Monday, 16 May 2011 17:33 )

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