Paddle, run or pedal for local green causes this weekend

Saturday’s benefit paddle on Shem Creek will raise money for locally-based Keeper of the Wild, an all-volunteer organization that rehabilitates injured and orphaned wildlife, such as this raccoon that was struck by a car last winter.

I’m really not sure how someone can exercise outdoors and not care deeply about our environment, ranging from having clean air and water to protecting the wildlife that gives life so much richness.

So I found it interesting that an accidental theme of sorts has emerged in this coming weekend’s line-up of events. Many are events to raise money for green and animal causes.

I had the pleasure of interviewing the founder of Keeper of the Wild, Janet Kinser, last winter for a profile in the Feb. 9 People edition of The Post and Courier and found her to be among the saints of the Lowcountry, dedicating her life for the last quarter century to saving injured and orphaned wildlife.

The all-volunteer organization she leads cares for the animals that often suffer from our lifestyle of driving all over kingdom come: raccoons, opossums, squirrels, deer, the occasional otter, beaver and bobcat. The folks at Keeper of the Wild, which include generous local veterinarians, give hours upon hours of time to heal and raise these animals, and endure their fair share of heartache.

They are, by nature, quiet workers who aren’t prone to or proficient at begging for money, and yet they need it for medical supplies and transportation expenses.

So here’s your chance not only to help Keeper of the Wild but enjoy a little nature yourself.

The like-wise generous Nature Adventure Outfitters is holding a Benefit Kayak and SUP Paddle for Wildlife 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at the outfitter’s headquarters on Shem Creek.

The event includes two-hour guided tours, $39 for ages 13 and up and $29 for youth 12 and under (which includes rentals), starting at 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Don’t want a tour? Rentals of kayaks and SUPs also will be available for $35 and $28, respectively. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 568-3222 or emailing

All of the proceeds will go to Keeper of the Wild.

Surfrider is an organization emerging as a leader in battling a troubling environmental issue: plastics and other litter polluting our oceans that threaten not only wildlife but a food source for humans who eat meat.

And while Surfrider emerged as a surfer’s organization, local Surfriders are holding a running event, the second annual Run for the Coast 10K Eco-Run at 8 a.m. Saturday at The Tides on Folly Beach.

Jeremy Wasko, who recently moved to Colorado but is returning for the event, created the event because of his love of running, active lifestyles, and his support for sustainability and environmental initiatives.

Last year, Wasko told me, “I want everyone to really appreciate nature and the outdoors, and not just help protect it but embrace it.”

Unlike many runs, Wasko and other volunteers are taking efforts to make the race green, from using recycled bibs, composting food waste, not using single-use plastic bottles and having a beach sweep afterward.

Last year’s event had 115 runners and raised $550 for the Surfrider Foundation. He’s hoping for 200 runners this year. The fee is $35 on Thursday and $40 on Friday and Saturday. All proceeds will be donated to Surfrider and its Blue Water Task Force, which is a water quality testing program in the Folly River with help from Charleston SUP Safaris.

New Belgium Brewing, among the first to recognize the perfect marriage of bikes and beer, brings its fun Clips Beer & Film Tour (formerly known as Clips of Faith) to Marion Square at 7 p.m. Thursday. The tour, which features 20 short films, is wrapping up a tour of 21 cities, a what’s what of liveable cities.

While the festival is free, beer is $1.25 for a 3-ounce sample and $5 for a 12-ounce serving. Up to 16 varieties will be on tap. Food from Hello, My Name is BBQ, Low Country Creole and Roti Rolls will also be available.

All proceeds from beer sales benefit Charleston Moves, the area’s primary bike and pedestrian advocacy organization. Last year, 850 people attended and raised $5,700 for Charleston Moves. Attendees are advised to bring identification, a blanket or low chair to sit on, and children and/or dogs (both need to be under control).

Oh, and bike in if you can.

While not a fundraiser for an environmental organization, certainly marathon swimmers have a personal interest in clean water, as well.

As of Monday, 32 solo swimmers and 30 relay teams of two to four people each have registered for Sunday’s third annual Swim Around Charleston, a 12-mile open-water swim from Remley’s Point in Mount Pleasant to Interstate 526 on the Ashley River. Participants are coming from 13 states and as far away as Mexico City.

The swim starts at 9:15 a.m. and the top swimmers should arrive at the finish around 1:30 p.m.

“The weather should be wonderful, though I’m my usual nervous self,” says Kathleen Wilson, a marathon swimmer who founded and directs the swim.

“There is no doubt that the (word of the) swim is out there these days and carries a good reputation. It’s very important to me to sustain it and I am grateful to partners like Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission, Holiday Inn Mount Pleasant and others for support.”

A new trail is always something to celebrate, and that’s exactly what the folks in Walterboro are doing at 11 a.m. Wednesday at 399 Detreville St. entrance, adjacent to the Live Oak Cemetery.

The Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the East Coast’s largest estuarine preserves, will hold a ribbon cutting to mark the opening of a new trail dedicated to the late George B. Hartzog Jr., who play an instrumental role throughout his life in securing and maintaining park space for the public.

This additional trail at Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary will function as part of the park’s current four-mile network of boardwalks, hiking, biking and nature trails, providing visitors with additional vantage points for observing the diversity of wildlife inhabiting the black water bottomland.

As daily subscribers and readers of The Post and Courier may have read in Tuesday’s Your Health edition, the American Heart Association’s 16th annual Lowcountry Heart Walk will be at 9 a.m. (warm-up events start at 8 a.m.) at Liberty Square.

The event is free, but the heart association asks participants to raise money. Last year, about 5,200 people raised $650,000. This year, the association hopes to raise $775,000.

Reach David Quick at 937-5516 or dquick@postand