FLORENCE -- Brookgreen Gardens, now near the peak of springtime splendor, will be both the setting for and the subject of the Pee Dee Heritage Center's spring program at 3 p.m., Sunday, April 2.
The program is free to the public; however, Brookgreen's usual gate admission ($8.50 for adults and $4 for children 6-12) will be required for access to the Gardens and the Nature Classroom, site of the 3 p.m. program. Information will be available on the day of the program at Brookgreen's entrance plaza on Highway 17 near Murrells Inlet. Brookgreen's hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Information is also available from the Pee Dee Heritage Center at Francis Marion University, 843-661-1567. The Heritage Center sponsors spring and fall programs annually dealing with some aspect of the history and heritage of the state's Pee Dee and Waccamaw region.
The Brookgreen program will focus on the Gardens' unique history and that of the Waccamaw Neck region north of Georgetown, once the locale of a thriving rice plantation culture.
Dr. John O. Sands, Brookgreen's executive vice president, is scheduled to talk on the Gardens' history and its collection of over 500 sculptures exhibited in galleries, along trails and in outdoor "garden rooms." Brookgreen staffer Roslyn Saunders will talk about the rice culture that developed on the four plantations that comprise the present Brookgreen property.
Those attending the program may choose to make an afternoon or a day of their Brookgreen visit. They will be free to tour the gardens and galleries and visit the zoo and aviaries. Boat tours of Brookgreen creeks are scheduled at 11 a.m. and 1 and 2 p.m. on a space available basis. There is also a cafe for lunch and snacks and a visitors' picnic area.
The Heritage Center, based at Francis Marion University, is jointly sponsored by FMU, Coker College, Coastal Carolina University and the Governor's School for Science and Mathematics in Hartsville. The center endeavors to preserve, promote and celebrate the region's history and heritage through publications and twice-a-year programs free to the public.