Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The B.I.R.D.S. Project And Summerville ROCKS--More Reasons To Tour One Of The Top Ten Walkable Downtowns In SC

This past year Summerville has gone for the B.I.R.D.S., but to make things even better, this coming March, it is going to be off its rocker, and I am not just playing with words. Year after year the Summerville D.R.E.A.M. continues to work tirelessly at dreaming up ways to make Summerville a source of pride for residents and a destination of choice for visitors. The B.I.R.D.S. project and the Summerville ROCKS initiative coincides very nicely with the fact Summerville has been chosen as one of South Carolina's top ten most walkable downtowns.

B.I.R.D.S. is an acronym for Birds in Residence Downtown Summerville. The project is a collaboration between Summerville DREAM, Sculpture in the South, and the Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest to highlight Summerville's native bird species and celebrate its growing reputation as a cultural arts destination. The life-like bronze bird sculptures are being placed at various locations throughout the downtown area.

So far, I have found five. This coming March 20th, eight new sculptures will be introduced. When the project is finally completed, twenty of the bronze feathered-friends will have been placed in their permanent locations with the objective to draw visitors and residents to explore the streets, businesses and restaurants of Summerville on a bird scavenger hunt guided by the B.I.R.D.S. poem, which will contain clues.

The Nuthatch was the first to be placed. Do you know where it is located? Finding it will bring a smile to your face. The Canada Goose, the most expensive of the installations, will eventually be installed on Hutchinson Square. You, as a resident, can assist in the expense by purchasing one of the 2013 holiday ornaments available at the B.I.R.D.S. booth on Third Thursdays as well as at Four Green Fields Gallery. All proceeds from such purchases will be donated by Four Green Fields Gallery back to the B.I.R.D.S. project. Two other ways you can participate is by being a sponsor or by making a tax deductible donation. You can do that by clicking on B.I.R.D.S.

The rocking chair is as American as sweet tea and as Summerville as the azalea and pine tree. It has a notable place in Summerville's grand history. The once-upon-a-time illustrious Pine Forest Inn housed various large parlors where people dined, read books, did needlework, drank wine, and talked about the business of the day. One large parlor was called the Rocking Chair Room. It was said to have contained a sea of over a hundred rocking chairs.

The Summerville ROCKS initiative encompasses artistically painted rocking chairs, painted by a local artist, and their placement throughout Summerville and surrounding locals. For a cost of $100.00, anyone can be a sponsor--the money goes towards the purchase of the wooden rocking chair. The sponsored rocking chair would have to be completed and displayed at its location by March 20, 2014, which is when the event begins. The event will conclude May 31, 2014. At that time, the painted rocking chair will be auctioned off to support a scholarship for a local art student and other community charities.

On March 20th, maps containing the locations of the rocking chairs will be distributed for residents and visitors to view. An example of a painted rocking chair can viewed in the lobby of the James F. Dean Theatre on South Main Street across from Hutchinson Square. For more information contact

A little bird told me Third Thursday is Summerville's night to shine. The B.I.R.D.S project and the Summerville ROCKS initiative is a part of the allure. So, get up off your rocking chairs and come downtown Summerville to join the fun. While you are on Short Central, look in the alley between Four Green Fields Gallery and Eclectic Chef. Your discovery will leave you humming a tune.

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