The Ebb & Flow

South Carolina’s First Prescribed Fire Festival to Ignite at Sewee March 21

Sewee Longleaf Conservation Cooperative to host inaugural “Sewee Fire Fest”

South Carolina’s once-expansive longleaf pine forests depended on an unlikely ally: fire.  On March 21 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., members of the Sewee Longleaf Conservation Cooperative are putting the focus back on fire and nature at the Sewee Fire Fest, a longleaf pine and prescribed fire festival.  Attendees to the FREE event will be treated to a live burn demonstration (weather permitting), fun family activities and a visit by Smokey Bear.

Click here to view the Fire Fest flyer: Fire-Festival-Flyer-FINAL

WHAT: Sewee Fire Fest is South Carolina’s first longleaf pine and prescribed fire festival, designed to highlight the link between safe, natural fire and forest health.  Attendees can experience a live burn demonstration at 1 p.m. (weather permitting);  a bounce house, magician, face painting and other family-friendly activities;  sweetgrass basket making;  native plants for sale;  food vendors;  the chance to meet Smokey Bear, Woodsy the Owl and the Chick-fil-A cow;  and learn about local organizations working to restore forests and protect communities.

WHO:    The event is free and open to the public.  It is being hosted by the Sewee Longleaf Conservation Cooperative.

WHERE:

Sewee Visitor and Environmental Education Center
5821 Hwy. 17 North
Awendaw, S.C. 29429

WHEN:

March 21, 2015
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

WHY: The purpose of the Sewee Fire Fest is to expose the public to the positive benefits of controlled burning to South Carolina’s forests.  “Fire” and “forests” may seem like an unlikely team, but in fact South Carolina’s forests depend on fire to survive.  Regular, natural burning clears the forest floor of underbrush that blocks sunlight and prevents new trees from germinating.  Many animals also depend on new-growth grassy areas for food and habitat.  Additionally, consistent controlled burns help prevent excess flammable materials from building up on the forest floor, which can ignite dangerously during prolonged droughts or lightning storms, threatening lives and property.

The Sewee Fire Fest is sponsored by SC Wildlife Federation, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation, U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services, USDA Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy.

“People are our forests’ most important allies today,” said Colette DeGarady, senior conservation ecologist with The Nature Conservancy in South Carolina and one of the event organizers.  “We’re thrilled for this chance to teach the community about the importance of prescribed fire and show how they can help support South Carolina’s forests.”

The Sewee Fire Fest is rain or shine.

For details about the event, you can contact:

Colette DeGarady,  843-937-8807 x-15,  cdegarady@tnc.org
Sam Cook,  scook@heirsproperty.org
Steve Gilbert,  steveg@scwf.org

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