Fall Meeting in the Dynamic South Carolina Upstate
By Steve McInnis
Located in the dynamic South Carolina upcountry, the city of Greenville is our destination for the CBC 2018 Fall Meeting, the weekend of September 21–22. The beautiful Blue Ridge mountains, visible from Greenville, present a compelling lure to many. Within its city limits, Greenville has more than 60 parks, including the Greenville Zoo, with fourteen landscaped acres.
Greenville is nationally acclaimed for its downtown amenities: scenic streets, cultural arts, shops, fine dining and greenways. The beautiful “Falls Park on the Reedy River” greenway boasts of its 60-foot waterfall and a 355-foot long pedestrian suspension bridge. If you want more shopping, take I-385 to the Haywood Mall area for some of the best retail stores and restaurants in the upstate.
Greenville began its revitalization in 1994 commencing with the manufacturing of BMW cars, which has the highest production volume of BMW plants worldwide. If scenic streets, parks, shopping and dining don't entice a non-birding spouse, maybe a day of Driving School at the BMW Performance Center will.
For birders, Greenville offers many enticements. The city is located in a migration flyway with proximity to some of South Carolina's finest birding hot spots and migrant traps. Lake Conestee Nature Park has significantly expanded their trail system and boardwalks since 2012. Lake Conestee will provide several rarities and a long checklist. Nine Times Preserve has added a Naturaland Way, which enormously expands its birding opportunities. Other hot spots are Blue Wall Preserve, Sassafras Mountain, Caesar's Head State Park, Spartanburg's Cottonwood Trail, Anderson County's Dobbins Farm, Prater Farm, Beaverdam WMA, Clemson's Cherry Farm and the S.C. Botanical Garden.
These hot spots will provide long species lists. Some recent fall warbler sightings include Golden-winged, Blue-winged, Tennessee, Nashville, Cape May, Bay-breasted, Blackburnian, Chestnut-sided, Prairie, Canada and Wilson's. Broad-winged Hawks and Peregrine Falcons are possible migrating raptors. At Caesar's Head, you might see a resident Common Raven.
After a productive day of seeing many species, you can sit back and enjoy excellent evening presentations. Our keynote speaker on Saturday is Dr. Drew Lanham, an author, a poet and an Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Clemson University. Drew is a board member of American Birding Association and National Audubon Society. In 2017, he authored “The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature”, which Amazon.com readers rate as 4.8 out of 5-stars. His knowledge level is impressive and you will marvel at his ability to imitate birdcalls.
Our Friday night speaker is Tim Lee, an Interpretive Ranger for S.C. State Parks. Tim will speak on Fall Hawk Migration in the Upstate.
A vibrant location, with many hot spots, great birds and excellent speakers, commands a terrific and convenient meeting headquarters. The Greenville Marriott fulfills! This wonderful property is nicely located at Exit #54 (Pelham Rd) on Interstate 85. Our very special room rate is $123/night, which includes 20%-off coupons for the breakfast buffet. All rooms are equipped with a refrigerator. The guest microwave is located off the lobby, near the hotel mini-store.
The Greenville Marriott will be our location for registration, all evening programs and our Saturday night dinner buffet. They are providing these meeting rooms at a bargain rate. Also, as it is becoming very difficult to find a hotel with large meeting rooms, please show your appreciation by staying at the Marriott. To reserve your room, contact the Greenville Marriott at (864) 297-0300 and be sure to mention you are with the CBC. The Greenville Marriott is a great property, which offers much convenience. You will enjoy your stay. Registration information along with additional meeting and banquet details and field trip descriptions will be in the August Newsletter.
Make your hotel reservations soon and join us for a bird-filled weekend on September 21-22, 2018.