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Home to the UGA Marine Institute, the Reynolds Mansion, the Geechee community at Hog Hummock, and miles of undisturbed beaches and forests, Sapelo Island provides visitors with a variety of exploration options. It also provided over 60 Georgia Conservancy volunteers a wealth of work to perform during the October 2012 service weekend.
Volunteers helped the Geechee community prepare for their annual cultural festival at Hog Hummock by setting up dozens of tents and clearing debris. The UGA Marine Institute received fresh coats of paint on their exterior doors and shutters, while the Reynolds Mansion was the recipient of a thorough cleaning. In addition, a group of young, curious volunteers took to the forests and beaches, performing much needed trail maintenance and trash collecting, all while learning about Sapelo’s fragile marine ecosystem.
The weekend trip wasn’t all hard work, though. Visitors had the pleasure of listening to Cornelia Bailey, longtime resident and historian of Hog Hummock, share stories and describe life on the island, past and present. A delicious island meal of seafood was prepared at the Reynolds Mansion on Friday night, and volunteers were treated to a low-country boil courtesy of Stewardship and Outreach Director Bryan Schroeder the following evening. The weekend wrapped up with a trek to Sapelo’s scenic and deserted Cabretta Beach and to the historic lighthouse on the island’s south end.
The Georgia Conservancy’s Sapelo Island Service Weekend has become an annual event and is one of our most popular trips. The work that Conservancy volunteers provide helps Sapelo Island maintain its natural, cultural and historic allure.
Check out a video of the 2012 service trip that was shot, edited and produced by Spelman College student Liz Smith: