Hanson Nature Learning Center



Upcoming Events

Wintry Wreaths

Wintry Wreaths 12/4 3:30pm

‘Tis the season for wreath making! While sipping on cider and cocoa, we’ll learn about evergreens and conifers and the interesting history of using them in...

Handmade for the Holidays

Handmade for the Holidays 12/11 3:30pm

In this annual program, we’ll let nature’s beauty inspire us as we create several seasonal crafts using natural materials from the Garden and beyond. This...

Story Start to Stroller Strut: Winter Walk

Story Start to Stroller Strut: Winter Walk 12/16 10:00am

We’ll begin with a story and then we’ll set off on a Garden walk, exploring the day’s theme. This free program is ideal for preschoolers, but all ages are...

Talking Trees Brown Bag Lunch Series: Caring for Mature Trees

Talking Trees Brown Bag Lunch Series: Caring... 12/17 12:00pm

Join James Wilkins for a new brown bag lunch presentation, discussion and tree tour on the third Thursday of each month. Enjoy your lunch during the...

4-H Junior Naturalist Club

4-H Junior Naturalist Club 2/9/2016 3:30pm

In this year’s Junior Naturalist Club for elementary students (6-12), participants explore the diverse ecosystems of South Carolina with educators Sue Watts...

Recent Events

Garden Sprouts 11/25/2015

Thanks to Nature 11/20/2015

Garden Sprouts 11/18/2015

Recent Activity

Lori Morrey

Lori Morrey left a positive review 9/19/2015

I learned so much in this class. It was at the same time logical and poetic.
The handouts were organized and clear, easy to follow in the field while the instructor was talking. The stories made the information "absorbable", and there was A LOT of information. I wish I had a video of this class to watch again and again. And again.

Lori Morrey

Lori Morrey left a positive review 10/24/2015

This class was inspiring, energetic, packed with useful and fascinating information. The hands on group exercise in the Experimental Forest connected and reinforced what we had been taught in the classroom. The time evaporated and left me longing for more. I will take this class again if it is offered.

Lori Morrey

Lori Morrey left a negative review 11/14/2015

This was a wasted day. Not one single principle of sustainable landscaping was taught.

First we were given a giant sketch book and told to go outside, pick a spot, and draw it. We returned, sketches in hand. The instructor preached about why caring about the environment mattered, using Aldo Leopold as the inspiration (like none of us had ever read Leopold?), and showed the class a stupid movie about Africa. (?!!) I guess he meant to convince us to care about the environment. But why would you sign up for a sustainable landscaping class unless you cared about the environment? Du-uh? Then we had to go outside to draw again, this time with our "newly opened eyes"! Seriously.

We were shown slides of projects that Rick's company had done. We were given a landscape design project to draw, with huge maps, rolls of tracing paper, templates, special rulers, markers, pencils. A life lesson in sustainability, all these supplies and giant sketch books?

We were not taught anything about "right plant, right place". We did learn a bit about rainwater runoff mitigation, like how to build a created wetland. Rick spent a huge amount of time going on and on about his company's project in Cashier's, and had us try to create a design fulfilling all of his client's requirements, then showed us what his company had come up with. This was about hardscape, retaining walls, dog enclosures, driveways, decks, views. Then he showed us photo after photo of the rudbeckia and echinacea purpurea that had been used on this site, overwhelmingly unique information.

To me, principles would cover things like: what to plant if your site is dry, wet, sunny, shady, urban, woodland, big, small, level, steep, using plants that like to grow in the neighborhood and thus will not require a lot of water and maintenance once established. Do I want a place to look at from my deck, do my kids need a play space, do I need to transition from woodland to yard, do I need shade, do I want herbs/vegetables mixed in, do I need a screen from my neighbor or the street? He should have covered ways to mulch. He never mentioned leaves or composting. He should have suggested places to buy native plants. He should have stayed home.

You guys would do well to preview the classes before subjecting the unsuspecting student to them, or at least require an exhaustive outline for your review.

I went to this class eager to learn about a subject that is a passion, and was frustrated and bored all day long. The complete opposite of Patrick's classes. Please let me know when sustainable landscape principles will be taught by someone competent.

Betsy Russell

Betsy Russell left a positive review 11/14/2015

Rick is very knowledgeable and was quite thorough in his presentation. Got a LOT out of the day. Tgank you!

Kelly Jones

Kelly Jones left a positive review 10/9/2015

We had a great time. My two girls enjoyed themselves, as did I watching them create their own fairy house. Allison and Kendra did a great job helping and teaching the children.

Betsy Russell

Betsy Russell left a positive review 9/26/2015

This was a great class!

David Miller Putnam

David Miller Putnam left a positive review 9/26/2015

Dan Whitten knows his stuff and he had the topic of Trees well organized. If you ever get a chance to go on a hike with Dan, do it. It will be one of your more educational hikes.

Debbie Oliver Sewell

Debbie Oliver Sewell left a review 9/19/2015

I was not allowed to take it . I could not get into the Basic botany. I am still waiting on my refund.

Betsy Russell

Betsy Russell left a positive review 9/19/2015

Patrick was wonderful as usual. Once again I amazed at how a subject that is usually taught over a semester could be shrunk to just a day for folks who may have studied other topics in college. As a history major, I appreciate Patrick's interest in both the history of the location as well as that of the uses of the plants and our language. Thanks for the new copy of Porcher! Always an
Mazed by Sue's resilience and hard work. You rock!!

David Miller Putnam

David Miller Putnam left a positive review 9/19/2015

Patrick McMillian never disappoints. Always jump at the opportunity to here his lectures.

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