Hilton Head, SC

Mar 4th, 2017 to Mar 11th, 2017
Cost: $515.00 Partner Organization(s): Habitat for Humanity, Pinckney National Wildlife Refuge Service Type: Housing, environmental conservation Number of Participants: 8

We are going to start this trip out right, with some jamming tunes to fill up the 8 hour car ride to Hilton Head on Saturday morning. We are renting two cars for the week, but if participants can provide a vehicle, the trip costs will go down significantly. We are going to be staying in a condo provided by Habitat for Humanity. On Sunday, we will take a trip to Charleston to explore the city and get some group bonding in. From Monday to Friday we will be volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in the morning and the Pinckney Wildlife Refuge in the afternoons. We will explore Savannah on Friday after finishing our volunteering in the morning and then head back home to C’ville on Saturday.

Service Activities

We will be dividing our time between two organizations: Habitat for Humanity from 8-12, and then moving to the Pinckney Wildlife Refuge from 2-5. For Habitat for Humanity, we working on the construction of a community on the island. Our group will be volunteering at The Glen, a community that includes over 20 homes at a variety of stages in their development. We will be working on everything from landscaping to painting to framing and more.

At the Pinckney Wildlife Refuge, we will mostly be partaking in field labor (read: get swole). For example we will probably be doing work such as pulling invasive species, herbicide treatment of invasive trees, and removal of abandoned crab traps from beach dune areas. It will be tough work, but extremely rewarding knowing that you are improving the environment for the wildlife and people.

Community Background

Hilton Head is the most expensive place to live in the state of South Carolina, but the average salary of an employee in tourism or hospitality on the island is $27,600. This leads to a huge wage disparity between employees and visitors to the city. The expense of the city forces many workers to live in bordering areas, which lengthens their commutes, increases the cost of transportation, and makes their everyday routine that much more inconvenient. Habitat for Humanity at Hilton Head began in 2014 to create a community of affordable homes for low wage island workers on the island. We will keep this in mind as we explore the city, noting the difference between the affluent tourist regions and the low income neighborhoods.

Pinckney Island is part of the Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex, a chain of national wildlife refuges that continues to Georgia. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lacks both staff and funding and battling for more federal budget, thus volunteer support is even more necessary.Salt marshes and tidal creeks make up nearly 67% of the refuge, and have been disappearing at alarming rates nationally. These provide a critical interface between land and sea that is inhabited by an array of wildlife.

Recreational Activities

Hilton Head is a huge tourist location, so we will be able to explore all that it has to offer (**icecream**), in addition to taking trips to nearby beaches! When we aren’t volunteering, we can hike around Pinckney Island, as well as at other local parks.  We will also have time to sight-see in Charleston and Savannah, where there are opportunities to rent bikes, go on ghost tours, or visit museums– all depending on what our group wants!

About the Site Leaders

Lauren (lkn2hv) is a third year studying chemical engineering, and hails from the booming metropolis that is Bangor, Maine. She has been on ASB trips to the Grand Canyon and Moab, Utah and is stoked to lead a service trip on the east coast this year! She likes bopping around the outdoors and listening too much music in attempt to be hip with all you whippersnappers (currently trying to beat 2015’s record of 88,000 minutes on Spotify). Prepare for a trip full of bad puns, deadpans, and references to the most obscure DCOMs. (extra oatmeal to whoever knows what that stands for).

Stephanie (sjd9hb) is also a third year. She is double majoring in physics and environmental science. Last year she fought her fellow trip participants for the aux on the Virginia Road Trip. Hope you aren’t scared of getting in a tiffy cause driving playlists are a requirement for this trip! Clearly she likes to pretend she is  a DJ (it’s becoming less make believe now that she is part of WXTJ), dancing like a crazy in front of her mirror as well as impromptu dancing in the rain, eating around the clock (midnight chocolate chip pancakes… need I say more?), and hiking and general adventuring. We might be crazies but if you apply to this trip we could be your crazies.