he A.C. Moore Garden, located at the corner of Blossom and Pickens Streets in Columbia, was rededicated on November 27, 2001, exactly sixty years after the garden's original dedication. The rededication ceremony came nearly three years after the A.C. Moore Garden Restoration Committee began work as part of the University's bicentennial.
Andrew Charles Moore
The garden is named for Andrew Charles Moore, who was the first honor graduate of South Carolina College in 1877. After serving as a primary school principal, superintendent of schools in Spartanburg, SC, and professor of botany at the University of Chicago, he returned to his alma mater as professor and in 1905 became the first chair of the Department of Biology at the renamed University of South Carolina. Moore also served as interim president of the University from1908-1909 and again in 1913-1914. Since the garden's dedication to Moore in 1941, it has been dedicated to preservation of and education about native plant species.
The Restoration Committee, chaired by Dr. Kirstin Dow of the USC Department of Geography, worked closely with the University's Facilities Department and focused on refurbishing the Garden by making it more accessible, safe and beautiful. The project included dredging the garden's pond and adding new lights, fencing, pathways, stairs, plants, trees, educational signs, and a weather station. In addition, the South Carolina Wildlife Federation and the National Wildlife Federation have certified the garden as a National Backyard Wildlife Habitat.
The rededication ceremony took place on the back patio of the Patterson Residence Hall, overlooking the garden. The program celebrated the garden's significance for the University and Columbia communities. Following remarks from several University representatives, Mayor Bob Coble introduced three students from A.C. Moore Elementary school, who presented a special poster about the garden. Several relatives of A.C. Moore attended the ceremony, including Andy Moore Keenan, who unveiled the rededication plaque. Andy's father unveiled the first dedication plaque on November 27, 1941. Both plaques hang on the garden's brick pillars, facing Blossom Street.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Committee members and other volunteers gave tours of the beautiful garden, highlighting additions and future plans.
With the garden's rededication during the University's bicentennial celebration, it has resumed its role as an educational facility and the embodiment of the University's - and, indeed, Columbia's - rich social and natural history.