Student Garden at Stono River Preserve

While the Student Garden has the potential to grow into its 17-acre allotment, we are currently working just over 3 acres of land. Using a style known as market gardening, all techniques used are both organic and conducted without the assistance of large-scale equipment. 

Meet our Graduate Garden Staff

Sean Dove

Sean's passion for sustainable agriculture, conservation education, and a hands-on learning approach guided him to this position. At the garden, Sean manages day-to-day maintenance, planting, harvesting, and scheduling workshops. He is also the liaison for the undergraduate Student Farm and Garden Club.

Sean graduated from Coastal Carolina University with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Marine Science. He is a concurrent MES/MPA degree student. Sean is passionate about scuba diving, photography and using social media to educate the public about environmental concerns and how the public can get involved in conservation and sustainable movements. He previously studied in the Galapagos looking at international conservation issues.

Rebecca Fanning

Rebecca Fanning

Rebecca is enrolled in the concurrent degree program seeking master's degrees in both Environmental Studies and Public Administration.  As someone who has experience working with children and educating adults on environmental issues, she has been developing curriculum pertinent to the educational opportunities available through the student gardens.

As the Garden Manager, Rebecca is laying the foundations for our Hidden Hands Garden, showcasing African plants and Native American agricultural traditions. She also manages the Charleston Area Beekeeping Association's (CABA) Educational Apiary located at the Stono River Preserve and is beginning her internship with them to develop a training manual for beekeeping mentor/apprentice programs. 

Michael Cranford

Michael Cranford

Michael is a concurrent MES/MPA degree student with an interest in municipal utilities, agriculture, and water quality. At the Student Garden, Michael assists with planting, harvesting, maintenance, and fabrication, as well as planning workshops.

Michael graduated from Clemson University with a degree in Agricultural Mechanization & Business and a minor in Environmental Science and Policy. In his free time, Michael enjoys spending time outside, fishing, playing basketball, and shooting sporting clays.


Boy Scouts of America: Our partnership with Boy Scouts of America gave one troop the opportunity to earn their Messenger of Peace badge during a recent visit to Dixie. We hope to continue this partnership by providing additional workshops and learning opportunities to local troops.

Charleston Area Beekeeping Association: Through our partnership with the Charleston Area Beekeepers Association (CABA) and a generous donation from Mick Wiser, the Sustainable Agriculture Program has seen the installation of five bee colonies since March 2017.

The Green Heart Project: Our garden staff have partnered with the Green Heart Project, a non-profit organization based in Charleston, to share their knowledge and love of gardening with elementary-aged students in the Charleston area. Our staff have interacted with students in the classroom and in the garden and have provided supplies for educational activities.

Office of Sustainability at the College of Charleston: The Office of Sustainability helps us put on workshops and other events on the College of Charleston’s campus.

South Carolina Aquarium: A Turtle Garden, where we grow sustainable organic lettuce, has recently been added to the Student Garden. The lettuce is donated to the South Carolina Aquarium and is used to feed the rescued green sea turtles who reside there. Any leftover lettuce is fed to other reptile inhabitants at the aquarium, such as tortoises and lizards.

The Stone Soup Collective: Most of our vegetables are donated to The Stone Soup Collective, a local nonprofit who makes healthy, plant-based soup for Charleston residents. The nonprofit sells soup at various locations around Charleston and distributes free soup to seniors in North Charleston.

Recent Updates and Announcements

The Golden Pearl Foundation funded a state-of-the-art Deer Fence that was recently installed by Travis Folk Land Management and Palmetto State Forestry Services. This fence encloses 4 acres of land and will help to reduce the amount of seedlings consumed by deer, allowing production to grow.

We will have one full-time graduate assistant (GA) position available for incoming students in Fall 2019. Prospective students interested in this GA position should mention this in their Statement of Goals (as part of the Environmental Studies Graduate Program application).