COLUMBIA, South Carolina — Ten acres in the heart of downtown Columbia is the University of South Carolina’s W. Gordon Belser Arboretum.
A place seeing the effects of a record-breaking spring, with warmer temperatures and heavy precipitation.
William “Trey” Franklin is the director of the Arboretum and a professor at USC. He said with this spring’s warm temperatures and heavy precipitation, he saw a change in the arboretum. “Absolutely, I believe what we saw was much earlier blooming of many of the plants than we would normally see.”
Franklin said plant species, habitats, a waterfall, a botanical garden, and many other unique exhibits can be seen in this nature preserve.
“In general, azaleas were blooming about two weeks earlier than they normally would with this unseasonably warm spring," says Franklin.
According to the latest climate report from NOAA, the first three months of 2023 in South Carolina were the warmest in 129 years. The report also states that some areas in South Carolina, including the Midlands, saw above-average precipitation.
Franklin said, “I’m a firm believer in getting outside and exploring and seeing what’s going on. This arboretum is a great place to do that if you get the chance.”
USC’s Arboretum has an open house this Sunday, April 16th from 1-4 pm. There you’ll be able to hear educational speakers, mingle, and you can walk along the trails.