Cypress Gardens Announces New Educational Initiative

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Four programs introduce Cypress Gardens’ new educational initiative focused on cultural history.  The programs address some of the South Carolina academic standards for social studies, science and math for 3rd, 4th and 5th grades, and complement the natural history programs already offered at Cypress Gardens.


New programs include:


African Pottery

This program promotes the understanding of African crafts and skill(s) brought to South Carolina through the slave trade. Students will make and decorate a pot using techniques similar to those used by African American slaves in the Lowcountry.      


Understanding Artifacts

This program teaches the basic principles for sorting & interpreting objects found at archaeological sites.  Students will sort and identify objects from a replica site.  They will explore how these objects tell us about the former inhabitants or activities that occurred at the site.


History of Rice in South Carolina - This program shares the historical and cultural significance of rice and other African plants.  Students will learn about the history of rice production in the Lowcountry to better understand its importance to the historical development of the state.  Students will visit a demonstration rice field to learn how African American slaves constructed and maintained rice fields.


Archaeological Excavation - The program teaches basic archaeological principles. Students will “excavate” a replica unit, map the objects they find, and interpret the past activity they think is represented by the artifacts they have uncovered.   


“Cypress Gardens sits on land which was once an old rice plantation,” explains Heather Graham, Manager of Cypress Gardens.  “We feel it is important to understand, study the lives and preserve the rich culture and African craft of those once enslaved on these grounds.”


Several years ago, the largest known collection of colonoware (a type of African American pottery) was unearthed in the area.  DuPont™ made this valuable discovery during the construction of their Kevlar® plant.  The company has since built the Cypress Gardens’ Heritage Room to exhibit these 19th century treasures. 


For more information about Cypress Gardens and its educational programs, visit or call 843-553-0515.