Located five miles south of Greenville, South Carolina sits Lake Conestee Nature Park. With it’s over 400 acres of forests, wetlands and meadows Lake Conestee Nature Park is home to a variety of wildlife and over 190 species of birds.
“We have over 11 miles of natural surface and paved trails that traverse our 400 acres,” said Dave Hargett, Ph. D., Lake Conestee’s Executive Director. “Our favorite locations in the park are where visitors and students can get off the trail and sit, relax, have lunch or watch wildlife. We have created several of those areas for folks to congregate. A natural amphitheater, a learning circle, three lake observation decks, and one raised observation deck that we call the “bird nest” are some of our favorites.”
Lake Conestee Nature Park offers self-guided educational programing for it’s over 50,000 yearly visitors. The educational programming centers around four Learning Loops. The first two were installed in the spring of 2013. Each loop includes ten learning stations that teach visitors about the environments, the natural history and the human history of the park. The topics at each station range from the history of farming on the parklands, upland and bottomland forest ecosystems, wetlands, the wildlife of the park and watershed dynamics.
“Each loop is situated in a unique setting along trails in the park, and each loop experience is intended to provide about a one and a half hour learning experience along a roughly one mile segment of trails,” said Hargett. “These Learning Loops can be used by classroom teachers for self-guided field trips and are also intended to be used in conjunction with school programs. Two more learning loops (another twenty learning stations) are coming soon.”
In addition to the extensive use of the park by the public, Lake Conestee Nature Center also offers field trips for public and private schools, home-schoolers as well as colleges and universities.
“We are in our first year of offering educator-guided school programs,” said Hargett. “We have had a great response to the learning stations.”
The superior graphics of Pannier’s Fiberglass Embedded panels perfectly enhances the vibrancy and resolution of the information on the panels along the loop. The panel’s unsurpassed durability is perfect for the park, which sees many different weather patterns. Local graphic design firm, Ferncreek Creative designed the panels of the park while the park staff developed the display content. The 20 learning panels are displayed in Pannier’s Double Pedestal exhibit bases though the park.
“Pannier has been highly responsive to our needs as a first time customer and has provided invaluable assistance to our questions regarding the process of development of our exhibits, as well as schedule, and installation,” said Hargett. “Having worked with other exhibit vendors as well, we would highly recommend Pannier to anyone in need of park or educational materials.”
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