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Nature Maid

Nature Maid
May 2010
A hands-on helper digs in with Charleston Parks Conservancy to brighten the city’s green spaces

Before becoming a Lead Park Angel with Charleston Parks Conservancy (CPC), Jessica Hall had already firmly rooted herself in the volunteer world. Inspired by her mother, who has her hands in half a dozen nonprofits, the 27-year-old technical analyst has taught gymnastics for Special Olympics, worked at Dee Norton Lowcountry Children’s Center, and coordinated blood drives with the American Red Cross. She was, however, a little green when it came to good gardening. But the chance to sprout a new skill intrigued this go-getter, who quickly flourished under the Park Angels’ nurturing. For the past two years, she and fellow winged warriors have dug in to plant Etiwan Park, Marion Square, Fountain Park, Colonial Lake, and more of the 120-plus green spaces across Charleston. “I’ve discovered that I love weeding,” laughs Jessica. “It’s good for my type-A personality.”

Her hardy drive has also helped lay the groundwork for public events like the kid-focused Teddy Bear Picnic and March’s Park Week, for which Jessica organized a “Bagels ’n’ Barks” breakfast and evening “Yappy Hour” at area dog parks. And she regularly heads out to community gatherings such as the Charleston Green Fair, all in an effort to cultivate awareness of CPC’s mission to grow the quality and usage of the city’s parks. “Our parks really show off this place’s beauty,” she says. “They’re the core representation of the city and its people, so I’m helping to put Charleston’s best foot forward.”