Kalmia Gardens to Host 5K Run/Walk

For more information, contact Chris Dougherty - 843.383.8018

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Aug. 27, 2013 – Kalmia Gardens of Coker College will host a 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, Sept.  7. The race will start and finish at Kalmia Gardens, with all proceeds supporting the Gardens. Dogs on leashes are welcome.

“The 5K run/walk is our first fundraiser of the year, and I couldn’t be more excited for the event,” said Mary Ridgeway, director of Kalmia Gardens. “The enthusiasm and support shown for Kalmia has been tremendous. I always want people to come and enjoy this gift that Coker College shares with us in Kalmia Gardens. We look forward to everyone joining us on Sept. 7.”

The race begins at 8 a.m. outside Kalmia Gardens, located at 1624 W. Carolina Ave., Hartsville, SC, 29550. Race-day registration costs $30 and begins at 7 a.m., and pre-registration is also available before Sept. 3 for a discounted price of $25. Participants can either pre-register online at www.carolinarunningcompany.com or mail a completed registration form, signed waiver and check (payable to Kalmia Gardens) to the address above.

“Kalmia has been strengthened by generous gifts over the years to upgrade access to Black Creek, and Coker College has been able to create a quiet, peaceful place where the community can gather for large events, weddings or other special events,” said Tony Floyd, vice president of administration and legal counsel at Coker. “This race is a chance not only to build continued support for Kalmia, but also to keep us connected and encourage wellness throughout the area. We hope this race will become an annual event that the community will circle on their calendars each year.”

Awards for the event will begin at 9 a.m. Categories for awards include: Overall Male/Female (1st), Age Groups: Male/Female (1st, 2nd, 3rd) 12 and under, 13-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, and 70 and above.  Timing will be provided by Carolina Running Company.

For more information, contact Mary Ridgeway at 843-383-8145 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

About Kalmia Gardens

Located in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina on a former 19th century plantation, Kalmia Gardens is a 35-acre private botanical garden and historic house open to the public. The Thomas E. Hart House, built in 1820 with timber cut from the property, and surrounding gardens are on the National Register of Historic Places. Kalmia Gardens boasts a wide array of rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas, wisteria, tea-olives, dogwood and the Gardens’ namesake — Kalmia latifolia, the Mountain Laurel. Kalmia Gardens is part of the scenic S.C. Cotton Trail and is the gateway to the 796-acre Segars-McKinnon Heritage Preserve.

Kalmia Gardens of Coker College has been open to the public since 1935 and includes many exotic ornamentals planted by Mrs. David Robert Coker, the garden’s founder. When the Coker family acquired the land in 1932, “Miss May” began transforming what was then a desolate area into a place of tranquility and beauty, creating many trails that lead down to Black Creek. She gave Kalmia Gardens to Coker College in 1965 as a memorial to her late husband. In 2002, her daughter established the Joslin Education Center at the Gardens.

From the Hart House and formal gardens there is a 60-ft drop in elevation to the Black Creek floodplain where trails and boardwalks guide you through laurel thickets, pine-oak-holly uplands and a beech bluff. The unusual terrain is responsible for creating Kalmia’s unique and diverse plant and animal life. The contrast between the formal house and gardens and the cypress swamp below makes for a distinctly enjoyable experience.

Kalmia Gardens is open 365 days a year from dawn to dusk.


Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.

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