Sea Pines Forest Preserve

In the heart of The Sea Pines Resorts sit 606 pristine acres of undisturbed Lowcountry paradise. Winding trails take you through antebellum rice plantations, across vanishing swamps, past ancient shell rings and right to the glittering waters of fully stocked lakes. Explore on your own or sign up for one of the many guided tours.

Should Hilton Head Island to stay the same? Do we want fewer or more visitors? Will the island to become an under-40, tech-driven paradise by 2040?

Since the days of Charles Fraser, long-term planning is one of the things that has made Hilton Head stand out — not only within Beaufort County, but around the country. Now, led by the efforts of Mayor David Bennett, the town is once again spearheading a comprehensive listening tour. The process asks residents, business leaders, local institutions and other community stakeholders on what the future of the island should look like.

 

David Bennett and his family moved to Hilton Head Island in 2009. By 2014, the political newcomer had become the town’s mayor.

Bennett and his wife, Terri, have three children, two in college and one in middle school. He is a real estate developer and graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in finance and real estate. Before serving as mayor, he was chairman of the town’s Planning Commission.

Bloody Point Lighthouse & Museum

Ready for a little haunted history? Tales of spirits abound in this remarkable piece of Daufuskie Island history. Tour the grounds and spot a bald eagle, rest beneath the “almost” angel oak and tour the vineyards.

THOSE WHO COMPLAIN ABOUT TRAFFIC COMING ON AND OFF HILTON HEAD ISLAND SHOULD BE AWARE THAT THINGS COULD BE WORSE.

At least the original eastbound portion of the former James F. Byrnes Bridge — the first slice of concrete that joins the mainland to Hilton Head Island — is still standing.

Built in 1956 as a two-lane prelude to the adjoining toll swing bridge over Skull Creek, the bridge — now known as the Karl Bowers Bridge that rises over Mackay Creek before depositing cars on Jenkins Island, home to Pinckney Wildlife Refuge, has been classified as “structurally deficient” by the Federal Highway Administration. Inspections of the bridge in 2008 and 2010 discovered structural bridge flaws.

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OFFERS AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND A CHANCE FOR A SUCCESS TO AREA FAMILIES.

Hilton Head Regional Habitat for Humanity president and CEO Pat Wirth said the stability that comes along with homeownership can change lives.

During her 16 years with the local nonprofit group, Wirth has seen hundreds of children grow up in homes built by Habitat volunteers and go on to lead successful lives. Some have gone to law school. Others have joined the military. Most have learned the value of hard work from their parents.

RISING CONSTRUCTION COSTS, REAL ESTATE PRICES AND CONSTRUCTION-RELATED FEES MAKE IT DIFFICULT FOR DEVELOPERS TO BUILD AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN BLUFFTON AND HILTON HEAD ISLAND.

The lack of affordable housing, combined with a lack of public transportation, means businesses are unable to fill positions because it’s too expensive for low- to moderate-income families to live in the area.

Without a bridge to the mainland, freed slaves and their descendants have shaped Daufuskie Island since the end of the Civil War. Their strong and unique Gullah culture was deeply influenced by their African heritage and remained largely isolated until the 1970s. The island had no electricity or telephone service until the 1950s, and oysters and cotton drove the economy — though today, tourism has become the most important source of income.

One lucky resident will have something to smile about this fall thanks to Bluffton Orthodontics, a new state-of-the-art orthodontic center that opened in July. The grand prize winner of its “New Smiles for a New School Year” contest, which started Aug. 1 and ends Sept. 12, will receive a free set of braces braces, plus all costs for the duration of treatment.

Arrhythmia Alliance and the town of Bluffton placed five public access defibrillators around Bluffton in August as part of Arrhythmia Alliance’s #BlufftonHeartsMatter campaign. This contribution will equip the Bluffton community with the necessary tools help save lives in cases of sudden cardiac arrest.

Second HelpingsSecond Helpings’ 26th anniversary and Share the Bounty fundraising event will be held Thursday, Sept. 21 at Harbour Town Golf Links. The fundraiser will help Second Helpings maintain its fleet of trucks and support the organization’s mission to stop hunger and eliminate food waste. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and the cost is $100 per ticket, which includes dinner, a full bar, a silent auction and a live auction. To purchase tickets, call Second Helpings at 843-689-3689.

James D CollettVolunteers in Medicine Hilton Head Island has selected a new board of directors for 2017-18. James D. Collett, who spent his career in the U.S. Air Force and with Bell Systems/Bell Atlantic, is the incoming chairman of the board. Other new board members include Joseph Scodari, vice chairman; Keith Brownlie, treasurer; and Andrea Argast, secretary.

Plans are underway to renovate the pavilion at Shelter Cove Harbour this fall. The recently launched Pavilion Paver Project will provide the bricks to complete the project. Residents and visitors can leave their mark on the Lowcountry by purchasing an engraved brick to be used at the pavilion. The goal is to sell 1,000 bricks. To purchase a brick, call Shelter Cove at 843-310-0431.

The American Legion Post 205 will hold their 12th annual golf tournament at the Rose Hill Golf Course in Bluffton at 8 a.m. Sept. 29. Proceeds from the tournament for male and female golfers support various charities Fisher House, the Bluffton Veterans’ Day parade and Palmetto Boys State. Fisher House Foundation provides housing at no cost for military and veterans’ families while a loved one is receiving treatment at major military and VA medical centers nationwide. The Fisher House Foundation served more than 28,000 families in 2016 and also provides scholarships for military children and spouses. Palmetto Boys State is sponsored by The American Legion and was founded to teach boys about government and local and national politics.

Joan Robinson BerryThe Women’s Association of Hilton Head Island will feature guest speaker Joan Robinson-Berry, vice president and general manager of Boeing South Carolina, at its first luncheon of the season. Robinson-Berry will discus “Lessons from Victory and Defeat” at the luncheon, to be held Oct. 6 at Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island in Shipyard Plantation.

For the first time in years, the Beaufort County School District has scheduled Saturdays as planned make-up days for inclement weather. The decision came after students missed eight days for Hurricane Matthew in 2016. This news didn’t sit well with some parents who complained a Saturday school day would be inconvenient. District officials commented that other states and school districts deal with make up days this way. The school board has been criticized for not seeking public or employee input before scheduling the inclement weather make up days.