My Time to Get Involved
The Honorable Lucille Whipper, District 109, SC House of Representatives, contacted Clemson University main campus by mail in February 1988 and sent a copy of the conference agenda. Unfortunately, I was not informed of this conference. After the conference, however, Keith Salvo, the Plant Materials Specialist for the Soil Conservation Service (SCS), developed the “Sweetgrass Conservation Field Trial Proposal.” In February 1989, the SCS developed the “Economic Development Resource Conservation and Development Measure Plan” for potential funding through the Low Country Resource Conservation and Development Council. Ann Christie, District Conservationist with the SCS, contacted Bill Yates, Clemson University Extension Program Coordinator, and asked if the Coastal Research and Education Center in West Ashley, south of Mt. Pleasant, could be the site of experimental plantings. In February 1989, I was asked if I would be interested in studying sweetgrass propagation and culture. Based on my earliest exposure to observing the basketmakers in the City Market and being enthralled with what they were doing, I immediately jumped on the idea! There began my journey with sweetgrass that lasted for 21 years.