March 16: Palmetto Pump & USA Climbing Competition at James Island County Park. 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Witness a competition of strength, balance and endurance from some of the region’s best climbers at the Palmetto Pump & USA Climbing Competition. Any competitor is welcome to register; no competition experience is necessary. Space is limited. Registration fee $45. Spectators are free with park admission ($1 per person). To register to compete, visit www.ccprc.com or call 795-4386.
March 24: Customer Appreciation Day at Charleston County Parks. Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission says “thank you” by offering free gate admission to the Ravenel Caw Caw Interpretive Center, North Charleston Wannamaker, Mount Pleasant Palmetto Islands and James Island county parks. Take advantage of free parking at Kiawah Beachwalker Park and Isle of Palms County Park, as well as the Folly Beach Edwin S. Taylor Fishing Pier, where fishing is also free for the day. The Mount Pleasant Pier will offer complimentary fishing March 24, but parking fees still apply. Visit ccprc.com for details on free events and giveaways at each park.
April 7: Lowcountry Cajun Festival at James Island County Park. Noon-6 p.m. Cajun Fest is a full-day of foot-stompin’ zydeco music, Cajun and Creole food and children’s activities. Don’t forget to sign up for the 2:30 p.m. crawfish eating contest. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. No coolers, outside beverages or pets permitted. Admission: $10 for adults (13 and up); free for children 12 and under and Gold Pass holders.
Pre-registration is required for many CCPRC programs. Many programs may fill up in advance, or do not meet the advance minimum requirement for participation. For information or to register, call 795-4386 or visit www.ccprc.com.
March 14: James Island Bird Walks at James Island County Park. 8:30-10:30 a.m. Birding experts will help identify and count songbirds, birds of prey, wading birds, and others found in the park’s diverse habitats. Registration is not required. A chaperon is required for participants ages 15 and under. Age: 9 & up. Fee: Free.
March 15: Explore Your Parklands: Laurel Hill. 1-4:30 p.m. Pre-registration required for this guided tour. Amid increasing development east of the Cooper River, more than 700 acres of natural beauty have been preserved adjacent to Park West. From the ruins of the old plantation home to the surrounding forests, this property provides a peek into 18th- and 19th-century life in East Cooper. A registered and paid chaperon is required for participants ages 15 and under. Age: 9 & up. Fee: $15/$12 CCR Discount.
March 16: Canoe Programs: Intro to Canoeing at James Island County Park. 10 a.m.-noon. This the perfect craft for exploring the natural and cultural history of the Lowcountry environment. Learn basic strokes, safety and technique. Age: 16 & up. Fee: $24/$20 CCR Discount. Pre-registration required.
March 16: Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) Instructional Classes: Intermediate SUP-Level 2 at James Island County Park. 1-3 p.m. Take the next step in SUPing. Practice some very fun balance drills, improve stroke technique and learn more safety skills. Age: 16 & up. Fee: $24/$20 CCR Discount. Pre-registration required.
March 16, 20, 23, 27, 30: Early Morning Bird Walks at Caw Caw Interpretive Center. 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. The walk through many distinct habitats will allow group to view and discuss a variety of birds, butterflies and other organisms. Walk-in registrations are welcome. A chaperon is required for participants ages 15 and under. $5/Free for Gold Pass Holders.
March 17: Sea Kayak Instructional Classes: ACA Introduction to Kayaking-Level 1 at James Island County Park. 12:30-4:30 p.m. Using a variety of boats, this entry-level course teaches you the basic strokes and skills to have fun on the water/ Age: 16 & up. Fee: $42/$35 CCR Discount. Pre-registration required.
March 18-22: Kayak Rolling and Rescues: Introduction to Kayak Rolling. 7-8 p.m. Have you ever wanted to learn how to roll a kayak? Now is the time. Participants ages 13-15 may register for one of these courses, but must be accompanied by an adult chaperon. Age: 13 & up. Fee: $54/$45 CCR Discount. Pre-registration required.
March 19, 26: How to Belay at James Island County Park. 5:30-7 p.m. Learn to belay in this abbreviated version of our popular Introduction to Climbing class. Age: 14 & up. Fee: $18/$15 CCR Discount. Pre-registration required.
March 20: McLeod: Plantation to Park: Celebrating Native American History at McLeod. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Pre-registration required for this guided tour. Group will take a short nature walk to examine artifacts, historical replicas of tools and native edible/medicinal plants. Then make your own indigenous-style decorative clay beads to take home. A registered and paid chaperon is required for participants ages 15 and under. Age: 9 & up. $9/$7 CCR Discount.
March 20, 27: College Days at James Island County Park. Noon-7 p.m. Students with a current ID will receive a free harness and shoe rental with the regular price of admission. Registration is not necessary. Fee: $10.
March 21: Master Naturalist Sampler: Naturalist Training at Palmetto Islands County Park. 9 a.m.-noon. The hummock islands and salt marshes of this park will let us study estuaries, ecotones and edge biodiversity, as well as flora and fauna identification. Age: 16 & up. Fee: $15/$12 CCR Discount/ Pre-registration required.