Clemson expands popular Home and Garden Information Center
By Scott Miller
Public Service Activities
The Home and Garden Information Center, a service of Clemson University Cooperative Extension, has extended its hours and added staff to answer more of South Carolinians’ questions about landscaping, gardening, plant health, household pests, food safety and nutrition.
HGIC staff can now take phone calls from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, more than doubling the number of hours experts can take calls daily. The center’s website also includes valuable fact sheets on insects, diseases, water quality, food safety, gardening and other topics, as well as timely information about food recalls, weather conditions, hurricane safety preparedness tips and other topics.
The addition of two staff members will help the center update and add more fact sheets to the website, said Millie Davenport, HGIC director and Extension horticulture agent.
The toll-free HGIC phone line at 888-656-9988 receives more than 13,000 calls annually. South Carolina residents also can email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
“That’s why we are expanding, to meet that demand. We were just not able to touch all of those people with limited phone hours,” she said.
HGIC has hired LayLa Burgess and Barbara Smith.
Burgess is a forestry expert with a bachelor’s degree in plant sciences from the College of Charleston and master’s degrees in botany and forest resources from Clemson. She formerly managed Clemson University’s Hemlock Woolly Adelgid/Predatory Beetle Rearing Laboratory. It is funded through the Initiative on Biological Control against Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, a project of Forest Health Protection-USDA Forest Service.
Extending the popular HGIC is part of Clemson Extension’s newly adopted five-year strategic plan to improve service to South Carolina communities.
Visit the website at: www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/