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Ossabaw Island Service Weekend 2012
The Georgia Conservancy, in partnership with Keeping it Wild, Atlanta Community ToolBank and the Ossabaw Island Foundation, recently hosted a successful service weekend on Ossabaw Island. For three days in May, forty-five motivated volunteers experienced the idyllic wilderness of Georgia’s second largest barrier island through teamwork, education and exploration.
In between guided tours across the island and enjoying the palmetto and live oak forest, volunteers rolled up their sleeves and worked on both the natural and built environment of Ossabaw. Needed maintenance to the vine and palmetto covered historic site of Middle Place was performed, the south-east campsite was restored and a full truck load of trash was cleaned out of the marsh. Ossabaw’s historic structures also received much needed cleaning, weatherizing and landscaping thanks to the “Windex Wizards”.
The prize for the most work over the weekend goes to the building crew that assembled 5 picnic tables. “One of the lasting memories that I will take from Ossabaw”, said Georgia Conservancy Stewardship and Outreach Director Bryan Schroeder, “is using the tables that our hard working volunteers constructed for our low-country boil”.
For many who participated, it was their first time to visit Ossabaw and to be introduced to one of the state’s most remote and wild islands. The blending of meaningful activities in such a stunning environment was the highlight for many. This was especially true for Georgia Conservancy member Penny Bell. “[The Ossabaw Service Weekend] was a beautiful mixing of people, with a purpose of spring cleaning land and buildings,” said Bell. “But, most of all, it was about people getting together and enjoying the most fantastic environment with haunting scenery - organized beautifully. Thank you all concerned, [and thank you] for the extra trouble they took to make sure we saw the diversity of the island.” Bell, a full-time chef who spends much of her year travelling the world’s oceans and seas, heard about our trip through our Georgia Outdoor Stewards webpage while docked in Savannah.
Ossabaw Island volunteer Virginia Plummer found the trip to be, “Exquisitely joyous!”, and eloquently summed up the feelings of everyone involved: “I'm already looking back to where I was a week ago ... It was all so lovely, and I've folded up the memories and brought them back in my heart. That includes not only the pristine, unspoiled beauty of the island, but the fun and camaraderie of everyone I got to meet there!”
The Ossabaw Service Weekend is one of a number of events that the Georgia Conservancy organizes on our coast during the year. Please check out the upcoming trips that we have scheduled throughout the state.