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The Wonders of Waterfall Junction

Guest post by Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, a Connected Communities grant recipient

For many in the Midlands, summer is officially here! The summer months are a great time to create memories and enjoy the many gems of the great place we call home. It’s the perfect time to “Love Where You Live.”

Over the last four decades, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden has grown to become a community treasure in the Midlands of South Carolina, and one of its newest additions is really making waves, thanks to a Connected Communities grant generously awarded by Central Carolina Community Foundation. The grant provides funding for public gathering and education sites within Waterfall Junction at Riverbanks Botanical Garden.

Waterfall Junction offers opportunities for families to get outdoors, explore, imagine and play in a 3-acre garden oasis, complete with treehouses, water play and plenty of room to roam. Since opening in April 2016, Waterfall Junction has attracted more than 360,000 visitors to Waterfall Junction alone, which represents a 300% increase in attendance in the botanical garden. Guests gravitate to the glorious garden during daytime visits and for after-hours events. The spring concert series, Rhythm and Blooms, shines the spotlight on local bands on Thursday evenings in May, and Twilight in the Garden features family-friendly flicks on select summer Fridays at dusk.

Connecting with nature and one another are core components of the Waterfall Junction experience. Camps, classes and workshops for all ages dig deeper into nature. Visitors may encounter staff with cooking carts stirring up recipes made from herbs and veggies grown and picked in Mrs. Pat’s Vegetable Garden. Inside the Norman and Gerry Sue Arnold Learning Center children examine garden artifacts and mix natural scrubs from handpicked herbs. Campers explore herbology and brew potions as they discover plants through the eyes of the wizarding world. Meanwhile, moms and little sprouts investigate lightning bugs and make firefly crafts. Kids and kids at heart are invited to unearth the wonder of Waterfall Junction, connect with nature and each other in this cool community attraction.

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