Magnolia Gardens honors military and focuses on Summer safety

File photo (WCIV)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is planning several events this season, all on the heels of a glowing review in a national magazine.On May 26, active duty military personnel and their immediate family members can get in free to the park. Valid active duty identification is required.The offer only includes general garden admission and not the separate tours of the house, swamp garden, nature boat, nature train and "Slavery to Freedom" program.Then, on June 7, eight safety displays will be set up at the park's ticket booths.The Summer Safety Program starts at 10 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m. While admission is needed to get into the park, the Summer Safety program is free.Members of the Charleston Police, fire department, S.C. Highway Patrol, and Department of Natural Resources will be on hand along with ABC News 4's Chief Meteorologist Dave Williams.Two workshops will be held in the Orientation Theater to award Boy Scout merit badges for fingerprinting and first aid. The merit badge workshops start with an 8 a.m. registration. From the sky, a Meducare Air helicopter, operated by Med-Trans Corp. and affiliated with the Medical University of South Carolina, will land on the lawn in front of the main house. Once secure, the aircraft's cabin will be open for tours. For more details, go to the "What's New" page at: of these events come on the heels of the park being named "One of America's Most Beautiful Gardens" in Travel & Leisure magazine."We pride ourselves as being America's last large-scale romantic-style garden," Magnolia Plantation and Gardens' executive director Tom Johnson said. "Unlike most of America's gardens, which are formal and seek to control nature, Magnolia cooperates with nature to create a tranquil landscape like Eden where humanity and nature are in harmony."{}Magnolia is the only South Carolina garden named to the Travel and Leisure list of the America Most Beautiful Gardens."Some sections of this family-owned garden have remained unchanged for more than 300 years, bearing witness to the property's transition from a slave-holding plantation to a Lowcountry tourist attraction. The gardens' Romantic-style design invites an escape from the everyday, into a world of azalea-lined pathways, sprawling live oaks, and cypress-tupelo swamps patrolled by alligators and egrets."For the magazine's list of gardens, go to: