Charleston Parks Conservancy’s picnic for the parks draws 400 attendees, raising $40,000 for parks

May 6, 2024

The Charleston Parks Conservancy marked its 17th birthday with a resounding success at the Picnic for the Parks event held on Sunday, April 28, 2024, at the Rose Pavilion in Hampton Park. The event gathered nearly 400 people and raised a record-breaking $40,000. These funds will support the Conservancy’s ongoing efforts in creating exceptional horticulture and programming in 24 public parks in and around Charleston.

Demonstrating dedication to environmental stewardship and sustainability, the Conservancy achieved an impressive 81% landfill diversion rate at the event. “This accomplishment underscores the organization’s proactive approach to minimizing waste and protecting the local ecosystem,” said Darlene Heater, Executive Director and CEO of Charleston Parks Conservancy. “The event saw minimal food waste, with compostables primarily comprising paper plates, napkins, and serving boats. Such initiatives align with the Conservancy’s mission to enhance public parks while fostering a culture of environmental responsibility and sustainability within the community.”

Picnic for the Parks attendees enjoyed various activities, including a petting zoo, field games, flower crown making, face painting, live music by the Green Levels, slides, and a donut-eating contest. Local culinary delights from Slice Co., The Dewberry, and Hero Doughnuts were savored, complemented by libations from Bevi Bene Brewing Company, Volley Tequila Seltzer, and a curated wine bar from Graft Wine Shop.

“One of the reasons I helped spearhead Picnic for the Parks is because I felt there was a need for more family-oriented events in Charleston. I wanted to help create a space where families could come together, enjoy the outdoors, and support our beautiful parks at the same time,” said Alexandra Malloy, co-chair of Picnic for the Parks. “The Charleston Parks Conservancy’s dedication to enhancing our public spaces inspired me to collaborate on this event, recognizing the vital role the organization plays in making our community vibrant and connected.”

“I grew up in a big city and have always valued green spaces. However, it wasn’t until I had children that I fully grasped their importance. Whether I’m running at Hampton Park, walking with friends at Colonial Lake, or playing with my kids in the playgrounds, I always find happiness there,” said Lauren Netter, co-chair of Picnic for the Parks. “That’s why I support parks—to maintain their beauty and spread joy in the community.”

The Charleston Parks Conservancy extends its gratitude to the generous sponsors of Picnic for the Parks, including United Community Bank, The Charleston Place, Croghan’s Jewel Box, DesignWorksLLC, Jason + Sam Easley, Juliska, Lowe, The Exchange Co., Refuel, Over the Moon, Van Wyck/Morrison Family, Berolzheimer Family, Boyd Family, David Family, Dicker Family, Floren Family, Leatherman Family, Lowcountry Editorial, Lowcountry Kids Pediatric Dentistry, Macon Family, Malloy Family, Netter Family, Raffle Family, Rose Family, Schaible Family, Shuford Family, Towill Family/Basic Group, Wirth Family, Bevi Bene Brewing Company, Braxton Crim Art Direction + Design, ChappyWrap, Charlotte Elizabeth Photography, Dino Bars, Graft Wine Bar, Hobnob, Jack Rudy Cocktail, Life Raft Treats, Pop Up Parties, REI, The Dewberry Charleston, and Volley Tequila Seltzers.

Plans are underway for the Conservancy’s 18th-anniversary celebration, the 2025 Picnic for the Parks, slated for next April. Learn more about the Conservancy’s efforts and programming at

About 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 has had a hand in renovating and beautifying 24 parks in partnership with the City of Charleston. Notable projects include the renovation of Colonial Lake, the Rose Pavilion at Hampton Park, Moultrie Playground, St. Julian Devine Community Center and Park, Magnolia Park and Community Garden, Medway Park, and Community Garden, and Corrine Jones Community Garden. For more information, visit