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The Magic of the Rails for Today

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Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. When I was a little girl, we would take pennies and put them on the railroad tracks in Saluda NC– then come back after the trains had roared through and try to find those flattened pieces of copper. For many people trains are magical – they have memories of riding the trains to camp, to college, or to visit family across the country. Now passenger traffic has practically stopped and freight shipments, too have declined.  But as companies decommission railroad lines, environmentalists and city planners see ways to enhance community life and health at relatively modest costs. Turning unused rail corridors into trails, usually paved for a variety of uses – the most common being walking or biking, is a national movement. Making It Grow filmed in Beaufort recently, where Extension agent Ellen Comeau rides to work daily on the Spanish Moss Trail. 

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Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.