OKATIE, SOUTH CAROLINA – On March 15, 2018, Audubon International recognized Seabrook Island Property Owners Association (SIPOA), the Town of Hilton Head Island, and Oldfield Community Association as South Carolina’s first Audubon International Certified Sustainable Communities. Audubon International held a recognition ceremony to honor each community’s commitment to creating a sustainable future by developing and implementing sustainable management practices around the three pillars of sustainability: healthy local environment, quality of life for citizens, and a vital economy.
To become certified, Sustainable Communities Program members must develop and implement management practices and policies according to a community-driven Long-Term Sustainability Plan that has timelines and measurable goals addressing 15 focal areas: agriculture; economic development and tourism; education; environment; governance; housing; open space and land use; planning, zoning, building and development; population; public safety and emergency management; recreation; resource use; transportation; and volunteerism and civic engagement.
“We are excited to honor these communities for their commitment to creating a sustainable future,” said Christine Kane, Executive Director at Audubon International. “As the first communities in South Carolina to receive the Audubon International Sustainable Communities certification, Hilton Head Island, Seabrook Island, and Oldfield are demonstrating a strong commitment to the environment that will benefit us all for many years to come.”
Seabrook Island Property Owners Association achieved certification in 2017, and is the first Audubon International Certified Sustainable Community in South Carolina, and is 6th overall to receive this designation. “SIPOA residents have been tremendously supportive of the efforts to focus on preservation, conservation and sustainability within our community,” said Julie McCulloch, SIPOA President. “The hard work and many months of meetings and synthesis of materials and views has firmly established our relationship with Audubon International, culminating in this exceptional award.”
Also achieving certification as an Audubon International Certified Sustainable Community before the end of 2017 was the Town of Hilton Head Island. They are the first municipality in South Carolina, and the 7th overall to receive this designation. “Development on our Island was born in a climate of sustainability, and the Town of Hilton Head Island strives to continue our partnership with nature via public education, public-private partnerships, the use of green building techniques and a deep respect for our natural environment and the many natural services it provides our residents and visitors,” said Sally Krebs, Sustainable Practices Coordinator.
Oldfield Community Association received designation as an Audubon International Certified Sustainable Community in February of 2018. They are the fastest community to ever achieve certification, completing the work in only a year and a half, and are the 8th community overall to receive this designation. “Oldfield residents, management and staff joined in a common cause to mold the community in accordance with the precepts established by Audubon International,” noted Steve Massas, Oldfield Club board member. “Oldfield has doubled its emphasis on sound ecological and sustainable practices to ensure Oldfield remains a community attractive to future generations of environmentally conscious individuals. We look forward to a long term, mutually beneficial relationship with Audubon International.”
These communities’ multi-stage, staff and volunteer led efforts will help to preserve their unique settings and enhance quality of life for all residents over the long run. Seabrook Island Property Owners Association, the Town of Hilton Head Island, and Oldfield Community Association join Eufaula, Alabama; Williamston, North Carolina; Coconut Creek, Florida; Stowe Mountain Resort, Vermont; Rio Verde, Arizona; and The Landings on Skidaway Island, Georgia as Audubon International Certified Sustainable Communities.
About Audubon International
Audubon International is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) environmental education organization dedicated to providing people with the education and assistance they need to practice responsible management of land, water, wildlife, and other natural resources. To meet this mission, the organization provides training, services, and a set of award-winning environmental education and certification programs for individuals, organizations, properties, new developments, and entire communities. Through the Sustainable Communities and Green Neighborhoods Programs, Audubon International works to help community leaders and stakeholders embrace environmental stewardship and sustainability as a central element of planning, policies, and practices. For more information, contact Audubon International at (518) 767-9051 or visit the website at www.auduboninternational.org.
About Seabrook Island Property Owners Association
Seabrook Island, South Carolina is a 2,400-acre barrier island/maritime forest located approximately 23 miles SW of historic Charleston. Residents of this gated community enjoy miles of pristine, private beach on the Atlantic Ocean and North Edisto River. With 2,600 properties, the island is home to both full time and part time residents. Seabrook Island is also a popular guest/rental destination. Seabrook Island received designation as an Audubon International Certified Sustainable Community in 2017. They are the first community in South Carolina, and the 6th overall to receive this designation.
About the Town of Hilton Head Island
The Town of Hilton Head Island is a barrier island off the coast of South Carolina encompassing 54 square miles, including 13 miles of beaches and a permanent population of approximately 40,000. Since incorporating in 1983 the Town has been known for its “green culture” and sees sustainability as the next logical step in its evolution. Hilton Head Island achieved designation as an Audubon Certified Sustainable Community in 2017. They are the first municipality in South Carolina, and the 7th overall to receive this designation.
Oldfield overlooks a spectacular horseshoe bend in the Okatie River, deep in South Carolina's legendary lowcountry. This private community's 860 acres are replete with magnificent moss-draped specimen live oaks and dramatic marsh vistas for which this area is known. Homes in Oldfield reflect the best of lowcountry architecture nestled along a stunning Greg Norman Signature golf course that was built with respect for the land and the heritage that it brings. Oldfield achieved designation as an Audubon Certified Sustainable Community 2018. They are the fastest community to ever achieve certification, completing the work in only a year and a half, and are the 8th community overall to receive this designation.