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ABOUT US

Experience Green

who we are

Experience Green is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on the what, how, why, and when of sustainability, with the long term goal to improve society through increased stewardship of the environment, care of the people, and growth of economic prosperity.  It was founded in 2010 with a scope of service encompassing Hilton Head Island and greater Beaufort County, SC. 

mission
Experience Green’s mission is to build sustainable communities that benefit the planet, its people and prosperity.  We accomplish this through efforts that:
Educate through experiences
Connect community resources
Advance sustainable development

vision
Experience Green envisions a community prospering through business and living practices based on sustainable guidelines, and a society of collaboration and systems to promote the greater good of a sustainable economy and existence.

values
The Experience Green organization is built and based on:
• Fairness
• Accountability
• Friendliness
• Collaboration
• Credibility
• Unity

goals
• Educate individuals and stakeholders on the what, how, why, and when of sustainability to support informed decision making and actions to improve society through increased stewardship of the environment, care of the people, and growth of economic prosperity.
• Create a community in which institutions, businesses, stakeholders and individual citizens collaborate to promote and implement sustainable practices for the greater good of the community.
• Improve society through increased stewardship of the environment, care of the people, and growth of economic prosperity.
• Meet today's personal and business needs while protecting resources for future generations.

objectives
• Promote sustainable business practices that can reduce costs, engage employees, create value, and comprehensively influence the triple bottom line — people, planet, and prosperity
• Promote green living practices for families and individuals of all ages to improve quality of life, save money, and care for the environment
• Support a sustainable tourism industry and promote green visitor experiences
• Serve as both a catalyst and connector between governments, institutions, businesses and individuals
• Build a network of resources for implementation of sustainable practices
• Strengthen the social fabric and raise awareness to the benefits of interdependency
• Enhance the local economy
 Engage leadership in opportunities to support and facilitate green initiatives
• Implement sustainable strategies that foster sustainable community development.

experience green overview
Download an Overview of Experience Green that tells more about:pdf
• Who we are
• Why the mission of Experience Green is important
• How Experience Green helps the community
• What sustainability means
• The difference between environmentalism and sustainability
• How Experience Green promotes sustainability

staff
Teresa Wade, Founder and Executive Director
Abby Wirth, Program Manager

Board of Directors
Mark Baker, Chair
Brian Herrmann, Vice Chair
Mary-Stuart Alderman, Secretary
Mike Bennett, Treasurer
William Court
Nick Felix
Steve Hamile
Boyd McCleary
Sally McGarry
Brooks Rinehart
Charles Sampson
Tom Trout

Advisory Council
David Ames
Dana Beach
Ernst Bruderer
Margo Farnsworth
Joseph B. Fraser III
Dodd Galbreath
Dave Harter
Susan Ketchum
Leslie Richardson
Allen Ward

Committees
Governance and Planning, Boyd McCleary, Chair
Finance and Fund Development, Mike Bennett and Mary-Stuart Alderman, CoChairs
Marketing and Communications, Charles Sampson, Chair
Programs and Events, Brian Herrmann, Chair
Earth Day Celebration, Tom Trout and Abby Wirth, CoChairs
Sustainability in Golf, Tony Wartko and Teresa Wade, CoChairs

If you would like to serve in a leadership role or contribute to Experience Green’s committee work, please email us at info@experiencegreen.org for more information.

 

Experience Green is a registered 501(c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit organization founded in 2010 with a scope of outreach focused on Beaufort County, SC.

community context

History 

Experience Green was founded on Hilton Head Island, SC, a community rich in natural resources and beauty.  Hilton Head Island’s history includes footprints from Native Americans, English, Spanish and French colonists, pirates, African-Americans, and soldiers.  Its inhabitants have depended on the local natural resources to survive and thrive since before the 1600’s when captain William Hilton landed on the island and planted seeds for its first plantations to grow plant sugar and indigo.  Several native American groups left behind remnants of their sustainable living practices (mysterious shell rings), but most left no trace at all– preserving the environment as they found it.  By 1860, 24 plantations were in operation on Hilton Head Island cultivating cotton, indigo, sugar cane, rice and more.  The Native Islander-Gullah community is a unique component of Hilton Head Island’s heritage, as they are descendants of the West Africans brought to America to support the plantation work, but with their own rituals and customs.  In 1956, Charles Fraser realized that Hilton Head Island had more to offer than just timber.  He was a visionary for his time with innovative design of the Sea Pines Plantation, the first resort community on the island, developed to harmonize with nature, and that prioritized environmental sensitivity.  Sea Pines Plantation became a prototype for the modern resort community, now copied around the world. 

This unique offering on Hilton Head Island has attracted guests and residents from around the world, while supporting a vibrant hospitality industry and a successful developer based economy.  However, in many ways, Charles Fraser’s vision for sustainable community has lost momentum.  Additionally, the economic downturn, off-island development, aged real estate and more, have resulted in significant declines in economic well being, position in the marketplace, and a weakened sense of community.  In 2010 the Mayor’s Task Force for the Island’s Future released a Vision 2025 Report that recommended eleven Key First Steps to guide action to preserve Hilton Head Island’s identity, its appeal to residents, visitors and business, and reclaim a leadership position in the international marketplace.  Sustainability was identified as a key first step.

Background

While Hilton Head Island has long been known as an environmentally sensitive community (preservation of trees, wildlife, etc.), the human impact on the environment via resource consumption, and waste and emissions generation has not been prioritized.  These considerations contribute to environmental sustainability, the foundation for Hilton Head Island’s identity and economy.  As resource scarcity, population increase, and climate change is a growing global concern, it is imperative to cultivate societies and develop systems that are strategically resilient, continue to offer inhabitants an environment in which to thrive without compromising future generations or economic prosperity, and that successfully exist in harmony with nature while providing a high quality of life. In response to the need to revitalize the local Hilton Head Island community, while also addressing local and global environmental issues, Experience Green was created to be an agent of change to advance sustainable community development that addresses issues of concern.

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We'd like to get and stay connected with you.

Sign up to stay informed through our printed publication, THE LOOP, as well as e-communications about Experience Green events and happenings.

You can reach us by email info@experiencegreen.org

By Mail
P.O. Box 6792
Hilton Head Island, SC 29938

eExperienceGreen Let us keep you informed through eExperienceGreen, our electronic communication about Experience Green events and happenings. You will receive periodic emails (one per month or less), and can opt out at any time.

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