The Charleston Parks Conservancy added two new staff members in May.
Kate White is the new director of horticulture, overseeing the organization’s horticultural initiatives in City of Charleston parks.
White’s love of horticulture and gardens developed at an early age working with her mother in their home garden and visiting historic gardens around the world. After graduating from Ohio University with a degree in environmental geography, White returned to the Lowcountry. She earned an associate’s degree in horticulture from Trident Technical College. White also completed an internship with the French Heritage Society studying in several French gardens, including Chateau de Brecy, Chateau de Valmer, and Chateau d’Acquigny.
Upon returning to Charleston, White went to work for Magnolia Plantation & Gardens. She managed the Horticulture Department, led the 200-plus volunteer contingent, conceptualized the Gilliard Garden Center, developed the camellia website and database, and designed the annual and perennial beds.
Shanice Chesney has joined the Conservancy as the fellowship program manager. She’s tasked with building a program where a profession in horticulture and environmentalism is not only encouraged, but celebrated. She is a graduate of Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, where she majored in international studies and Spanish with a focus in urban ecology.
After graduating, Chesney joined the Peace Corps and then New American Pathways where she developed the Alternative Break programs to help college students strengthen their active citizenship in refugee and immigrant communities.
Chesney went on to work as operations manager at Georgia Organics, an organization that champions organic agriculture, food justice and healthy families. At Georgia Organics, she established the Anti-Racism Committee and was its first chairwoman. For her efforts, Chesney was awarded the 30 under 30 Young Nonprofit Leadership Award in Atlanta.
About the Charleston Parks Conservancy
The Charleston Parks Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring the people of Charleston to connect with their parks and create stunning public places and a strong community. For more than 15 years, the Conservancy — through public-private partnerships — has had a hand in renovating and beautifying more than 20 parks in the City of Charleston. In 2020, renovations were completed at Moultrie Playground and at St. Julian Devine Community Center & Park. Other notable projects include the complete renovation of Colonial Lake, the renovation of the Rose Pavilion at Hampton Park as well as Magnolia Park and Community Garden and Medway Park and Community Garden. For more information, visit www.charlestonparksconservancy.org.