Coker to Host Earth Day Festival at Kalmia Gardens

HARTSVILLE, S.C. — Mar. 31, 2014 – Coker College will host an Earth Day festival Apr. 5 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Kalmia Gardens.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will serve food and host activities including biological and geological tours, canoeing, falconry, music, arts and crafts, games and environmental research displays. Bill Alexander, former chair of the biology department at the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics, will conduct a bird walk at 9 a.m. (participants are encouraged to bring binoculars). Fred Edinger, professor emeritus of geology, will conduct a geological walk at 10 a.m.

James Gustave “Gus” Speth, a professor of law at Vermont Law School, will present a talk titled “40 Years of the Environmental Movement in 20 Minutes” at 11 a.m. Speth, a South Carolina native, has served as chairman of President Carter’s council on Environmental Quality, senior advisor to president-elect Bill Clinton, chairman of the U.S. task force on international development and environmental security, dean of Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and administrator of the U.N. Development Program. Speth co-founded the Natural Resources Defense Council as well as the World Resources Institute. He has written six books, the most recent titled “America the Possible.”

Kalmia Gardens will also host its annual Duck Cup fundraiser at 12 p.m. For a $5 donation, participants receive a ticket that corresponds to a numbered rubber duck that will “compete” in a race down Black Creek. Ticket-holders of winning rubber ducks will receive prizes.

Established in 1935 and open to the public, Kalmia Gardens includes a historic house and a 35-acre private botanical garden. The Thomas E. Hart House, built in 1820 with timber cut from the property, and surrounding gardens are on the National Register of Historic Places. The site boasts a wide array of rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas, wisteria, tea-olives, dogwood and the Gardens’ namesake—Kalmia latifolia, the Mountain Laurel. It also features a daylily display garden that has been recognized by the American Hemerocallis Society. Kalmia Gardens is part of the scenic South Carolina Cotton Trail and is the gateway to the 796-acre Segars-McKinnon Heritage Preserve.

For more than 40 years, Earth Day, which is celebrated on Apr. 22, has helped draw attention and resources to critical issues of environmental sustainability. Annually, more than 1 billion people in 190 countries participate in Earth Day activities, making it the largest secular civic event in the world.

Kalmia Gardens of Coker College is located at 1624 West Carolina Avenue in Hartsville. For more information about Coker’s Earth Day festival, call 843-383-8145 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Release written by media relations coordinator Elizabeth McCarley.


Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.

For more information, contact Kyle Saverance, Vice President for Marketing & Communications
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  /  Office: 843-383-8017

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