Verdier House Dinner & Lecture talks historic landscape

“South Carolina’s Rice Fields: Understanding the Historical and Ecological Significance of a Landscape,” is the topic of the Verdier House Dinner & A Lecture, Monday, March 25 at 5:30pm at the Verdier House Museum, 801 Bay Street. Travis Folk, Ph.D. of Folk Land Management will present the program that weaves together the historical significance of the land with its benefits today.

Folk, a biologist in his family’s firm, received his undergraduate degree in forest resources from the University of Georgia and his graduate and post-graduate degrees in wildlife sciences from Auburn University. As a professional land steward and manager ofHistoric Beaufort Foundation several ACE Basin plantations, Folk understands how South Carolina’s rice fields have influenced land ownership patterns and how that has allowed the conservation success of the Basin, one of the least developed estuarine habitats on the East Coast.The rice fields of the ACE Basin were once bottomland hardwood forests covered in giant cypress trees. The thousands of acres that were cleared by slave labor resulted in a habitat that benefits coastal South Carolina today, making it an ecological mecca for game animals, songbirds, reptiles and amphibians and unique plant material.

Folk will discuss the evolution of the rice culture from the first inland farming techniques to the waning days of tidal rice culture post-Civil War. With his focus on the ACE Basin, he will explore the pre-Columbian habitats that were modified to create rice fields, the different forms of rice culture, and the conservation significance of rice fields today.

“Dinner and a Lecture” is open to Historic Beaufort Foundation members and non-members alike; the lecture series features a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception from 5:30 to 6pm. The program is 6 to 7pm,  followed by audience questions.

Admission to the lecture is $15/$25 per member/member couple respectively, and $20/$30 per non-member/non-member couple respectively. Seating is limited.  Please call 379-3331 to make reservations. A three-course dinner at Saltus River Grill is offered at $19 per person for attendees at the lecture. Call Saltus River Grill at 379-3474 directly to make dining reservations.