Garden Club Recognized for nearly Eight Decades of Partnering with SCDOT

January 9, 2008

COLUMBIA, SC – January 9, 2007 – The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) will honor its long-standing relationship with The Garden Club of South Carolina with a panel recognizing the group on the 2008 state highway map.

The panel will acknowledge the many cooperative efforts between SCDOT and The Garden Club to beautify the state’s highways with the planting of wildflowers, crape myrtles, dogwood and redbud trees, particularly following hurricanes. The group has also been involved in creating roadside parks and “Carolina Fence Gardens,” in addition to promoting the sales of “Keep South Carolina Beautiful” license tags and the creation of Heritage Trails.

Transportation Secretary H. B. Limehouse Jr. applauded the efforts of The Garden Club. “No other group has ever surpassed the highway beautification efforts made by The Garden Club of South Carolina. The Club has consistently stood with us for 77 years, undertaking innumerable long-term projects that have made South Carolina a better place to live,” said Limehouse.

The Garden Club’s first roadside beautification project began in 1930. Through the years, the Club has been involved in several projects, including the beautification of the Blue Star Memorial Highway (US 1) following World War II. In the 1980s, The Club successfully lobbied the state legislature to designate all interstates in South Carolina as Blue Star Memorial Highways.

In 1959, the group implemented a massive tree replacement program following the destruction of Hurricane Gracie, and renewed those efforts in 1989 following Hurricane Hugo. Club members initiated a program in 1973 to plant 2,500 crape myrtle trees along I-26 in preparation for the nation’s Bicentennial celebration in 1976.

The Garden Club of South Carolina has spent countless hours involved in the planting of wildflower beds, trees and other plantings on the interstate highways and welcome centers that create a beautiful appearance at South Carolina’s gateways.

The 2008 state highway map is expected to be available to the public in late January.