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Counting on Nature Program Empowers CCP Guests to Showcase their Natural Findings

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Since the start of 2021, there have already been eight new species discovered on Earth. Charleston County Parks hopes to continue the streak of discovery!

Counting on Nature is an ongoing program that takes participants on a guided walk within various county parks’ natural environments, led by a professional naturalist sharing their expertise. Guests will also photograph and report their observations and findings to platforms such as apps and websites during the program. Counting on Nature not only allows participants to learn more about plants, animals, and the surrounding ecology, but also helps conserve biodiversity.

“The bottom line is that more reporting means more understanding, which can mean more support for protection and conservation,” said Keith McCullough, Natural History Interpretation Coordinator. “We’d like to share first our knowledge of natural history, and second, our knowledge of reporting apps and websites and how to use them, with the hope that people will use their newfound reporting skills while on their own.”

While new natural findings may seem far-fetched, Charleston County Parks has a history of significant detections. In June of 2018, Tess Moody, a part-time CCPRC staff member, found a new species of millipede at Caw Caw Interpretive Center. Tess took a photo of the arthropod and posted it to an online forum for entomologists for identification. Tess was contacted by Dr. Jackson Means of Virginia Tech, who believed it could be an unidentified species. Dr. Means and Tess were unable to find the millipede specimen at Caw Caw again until June of 2020. This second discovery allowed the two to confirm that the millipede was indeed previously undescribed in scientific literature.

Occurring every Wednesday from 8:30 am to 10:30 am, Counting on Nature allows participants to get out directly into the study of nature while furthering their knowledge base. Participants will explore Palmetto Islands County Park in Mount Pleasant, James Island County Park on James Island, or Johns Island County Park on Johns Island. Registration is $9 per person and advance registration is required.

To learn more about Counting on Nature and other natural and environmental programs offered, or to register, visit CharlestonCountyParks.com.

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