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Congaree National Park: Thousands of acres

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People are moving to South Carolina in droves, mainly from dense urban areas in the north. The Charleston Metro Region gets 33 new people each and every day, the Myrtle Beach area grows even more – fifty-three individuals. And it happens all over the state. Most are retirees and the pandemic and being able to work remotely have encouraged other to come here. If you feel cramped or overwhelmed, you should visit the Congaree National Park right outside of Columbia. Of its 26,000 acres, the core protected area is fifteen thousand acres. You can backpack and, with permits, camp there for fourteen consecutive days. But most people walk the boardwalk – that’s what we did with our youngest daughter when she visited. We occasionally nodded and spoke to someone but mostly enjoyed quiet and solitude among the magnificent old growth trees.

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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.