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Gadsden GAB Featured: It’s Springtime – Let’s Go Outside!

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The Gadsden GAB is a monthly publication that’s written by BG residents, for BG residents. Every two weeks, we’ll feature an article from the GAB on the Bishop Gadsden website. To read more, you can read the entire March edition here.

It’s Springtime – Let’s Go Outside!

by Lynn Conley

Not only do Bishop Gadsden residents have a beautiful interior to enjoy during the cold winter months, there are gorgeous outside places to enjoy in the spring. March 20th is the first day of spring, and with the weather becoming warmer, it is a beautiful time to go outside, look at some of the wonderful outdoor pleasures available, and take a breath of fresh air. Lovely outside places to enjoy include:

Palm Court

Palm Court was designed when Bishop Gadsden built the apartments in 1999. It is named for the beautiful palms that grace the sides. Flagstone was selected to be less “bright” underfoot and the green space has been used for everything – yoga, tai chi, musical performances, special events, and parties. During COVID-19, most residents were reminded of what an incredible asset the open space has been over the years because it allowed an open-air place for many activities. Also, during COVID, many residents appreciated that the court provided a space for them to be outside and to socialize with friends over a glass of wine. Palm Court (originally called Taber Palm Court) was dedicated to Dr. Elsie Taber, who was the first woman to achieve the rank of Professor of Anatomy at the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Taber was an early, important BG supporter and donor.

Emily Ravenel Farrow Pathway

The Emily Ravenel Farrow Pathway circles the Quay Lake. The soft surface of the pathway was selected because it is easy for walkers, residents with walkers, residents in wheelchairs, and residents with a jazzy or power chair. A nice leisurely go around the lake or a stop to watch the sailboats on Tuesday and Thursday mornings is a most delightful way to spend a spring morning. The welcoming pavilion with comfortable chairs and tables is inviting any time; the pavilion offers a special place to enjoy the lake, the sailboats, and occasionally, the waterfowl when they visit. Everything about this lovely spot is relaxing – it just says “come on out!”

Croquet Courts & Pavilion

The popular Croquet Courts and Pavilion were an initiative started in 2016. The project was spearheaded by an enthusiastic couple who were joined by two other resident couples who supported the idea. The three couples introduced their love of golf croquet and the idea for the croquet project to BG’s former CEO and President. With BG approval and after raising funds for the courts, golf croquet became a reality in our community. As all who live here know, croquet has become an important activity at BG. From looking at the scheduling on Wellzesta Life as well as observing the number of residents dressed in their white attire, it is easy to see how many have embraced the game. The beautiful and very well equipped pavilion was made possible in part by a very generous resident-donor; it provides a perfect spot to watch the players, as well as to enjoy the warm breezes and socialize with others. Another generous donor-resident provided the charming weather vane that now adorns the top of the pavilion. There are 94 BG residents who are members of the Croquet Association, and the Vice President of the US Croquet Association, who has visited Bishop Gadsden, commented that BG’s courts are the busiest he has seen. BG’s group has tournaments, regular games, and social events such as “Wine and Wickets” on a regular basis. All Bishop Gadsden residents are invited to learn the game – every Friday a knowledgeable player mentors residents who wish to play croquet, a game that is as mental as it is skillful.

Best Friends Dog Park

Best Friends Dog Park was a resident-driven initiative and one that is definitely appreciated by all pet owners. The two areas, one for small dogs and one for large dogs, allow a grassy space for residents’ furry friends to exercise and stretch their legs, not to forget, of course, their need to socialize with other four-legged friends, and chase balls! There is a sign with the names of the initial group of dog owners who paid for the parks and created BG’s dog rules. All pet owners hopefully are grateful for these donor-residents who not only established the rules for the dog parks, but also the rules that all BG pet owners must follow. Although COVID has interrupted social gatherings, the dog group is hopeful that in the future there will be an opportunity to have a social gathering so that pet owners (sans pets) will be able to meet, greet, and exchange ideas, as well as discuss any relevant pet-related topics and ideas.

Community Garden

The Community Garden is a garden within a garden with each of the individual beds, some elevated tabletops and some lower raised beds, displaying the skills of the gardeners who tend to them. Each garden is lovely and worth taking a look at during the warmer weather when plants begin to sprout and early flowers begin to bloom. (Maybe some of the gardeners will be working in earnest while one is walking through, and it might be nice to visit and learn from some of them.) It is amazing to see how much care each resident has put into his/her garden. A time wandering through the “garden within the garden” is a glorious and agreeable time indeed. Within the community garden, behind the shed, there is a lovely planting of shrubs and flowers along with a small pollinator garden that houses perennials selected to attract birds, butterflies, and bees. The garden’s gazebo provides a peaceful place where one may rest and relax while enjoying the beauty of the beds. An important note: paths in the garden and park have been designed to be level and easy to navigate. The paths are wide enough for motorized wheelchairs, power chairs, and golf carts. Pets are allowed, if they are on a leash. Residents living in all areas of Bishop Gadsden are invited to sign up for a garden bed to tend since there are a few available at the moment. Please contact Kay Meek, if interested.

Beehives

Bishop Gadsden’s Beehives are located in the far corner of the Community Garden down a gravel path. The spot is peaceful and definitely worth seeing. There are currently four hives with space for two more. The bees are quiet now because of the cooler weather. However, the hives will become active as soon as spring arrives. A local professional beekeeper and owner of Queen and Comb Apiaries of Charleston maintains BG’s hives. The beekeeper takes care of the hives and harvests the honey, splitting the amount of honey produced between BG and himself. It is this arrangement that provides the fine honey for sale in the Village Shop. BG’s property provides a rich habitat for honeybees, as the bees enjoy the diversity of plants and the plentiful water sources here. Because managed honeybee populations have decreased in the U.S. in the last several years, BG’s participation in increasing the number of honeybees is part of a larger framework of companies, groups, and individuals who are also working to increase honeybee populations. Life within the hive is orderly and complex, and very interesting.

BG Trails

The BG Trails For an exhilarating start to your day or weekend, how about considering venturing on the trails through the woods? The paths are such a wonderful way to experience nature! The BG trails are another outdoor area first conceived by an individual and then supported both financially and manpower-wise by other residents, plus BG’s leadership. The three trails, each trail covering .75 miles, are located near Quay buildings 600 and 700; there are also several side trails that wander off from the three main trails, if one wishes to spend a longer time in the woods. Resident-volunteers developed a plan for the trails, cut and trimmed the trails, and marked them so residents would easily know the way. Later, the Trail Committee recognized that those with mobility issues would not have access to Bishop Gadsden’s beautiful woods so they developed a plan to make the Middle Trail smooth enough and wide enough for residents with walkers and for golf cart passage; now both the North and Middle Trails can be navigated in dry weather. The trails are kept cleared by diligent Trail Committee members; Bishop Gadsden has provided the committee and its volunteers with a shed and some tools for trail maintenance. Benches are available along all three trails, not only for resting, but also for sitting to take in the beauty of nature. All funding is provided by gifts from a number of residents who share the Trails Committee’s passion for the woods and the trails. Please note on Wellzesta Life that Trail Committee members lead group walks on Saturdays, weather permitting, except during the summer months. Residents can walk the trails at any time. However, it is advisable to carry a cell phone in case one needs to call Security for assistance. Walking the trails is such a delight – a refreshing way to feel outdoors and away from one’s dwelling.


Bishop Gadsden residents are truly so very fortunate to have the incredible residents who have had the spirit, the vision, the organizational skills, and the fund raising ability to create some of our beautiful outdoor spaces. In addition to the many outstanding qualities mentioned, all of these individuals worked countless hours to see each project to its fruition. All of their efforts have created the wonderful places we have to enjoy in the spring. The resident-enabled outdoor places include the croquet courts and pavilion, the community garden, the dog parks, the beehives, and the trails.

Looking forward, Bishop Gadsden’s leadership team is looking to further improve our environment. Possible additional outdoor spaces include a new and improved Bocce court (with a new leader and interested team members), a possible pickleball court, a putting green, and a driving net. So, residents, let’s go outside and enjoy!

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