Public Invited to Participate in Water/Ways Virtual Symposium

On January 7-8, the National Park Service and Friends of Congaree Swamp will be hosting a virtual symposium inspired by the themes of the Smithsonian Institution’s Water/Ways Exhibit. The exhibit, which is currently on display at Congaree National Park, dives into how essential water is to our life on our planet environmentally, culturally, and historically. The Water/Ways Virtual Symposium will connect these larger themes to the local community through engaging presentations, panel discussions, and question-and-answer sessions.

The symposium will begin on the evening of January 7 with keynote speaker Dr. Robert Greene from Claflin University. Greene’s presentation will be “Black History of Congaree: From Slavery to the Post-Civil Rights Era.” According to Greene, “The Congaree and its history embody so much of the history of South Carolina—a history of struggle, strife, promise, and progress.”

The presenters selected for the symposium represent a variety of organizations from across the Lower Richland Community and the Midlands, as well as local, state and federal agencies. Through providing their different perspectives, this event will explore how water intersects with culture and history; how waters and the surrounding watersheds can serve as important focus for community building, recreation, spiritual recharge and regional economic development; and the challenges and solutions facing communities.

“This symposium will provide a unique opportunity to examine the history, as well as the future, of the waterways that have helped shaped both out landscape and our communities,” Congaree Riverkeeper’s Bill Stangler said.

To register for the free event and to view the event schedule, including a complete list of speakers and presenters, visit www.friendsofcongaree.org/news. The Water/Ways exhibit will continue to be available for viewing at Congaree National Park through January 13. For information about visiting the Water/Ways exhibit, go to www.nps.gov/cong. If you have questions about the exhibit or the virtual symposium, please email cong_information@nps.gov.