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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.


Photo Gallery of Events and Programs

WHO WE ARE

Experience Green is a group of people who live, work and play in Beaufort County, SC; the heart of the Lowcountry. We love and care deeply about where we live, and we want our communities to succeed today, tomorrow, and beyond – making money, making memories, attracting visitors, providing resources and supporting our natural environment.  We operate as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We have a small staff, strong Board of Directors, wise Advisory Council, and dedicated volunteers.

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.

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.

LEADERSHIP

board of directors
Mark Baker, Chair
Pat Carey, Treasurer
David Arnal, Secretary
Raymond Wenig, Executive Director
Sandra Wenig, Administrator

Quin Andrus
Mike Bennett
David Neal Carroll
Harry Corbett
William Court
Clyde Johnston
Boyd McCleary
Sally McGarry
Brooks Rinehart
Charles Sampson
Justi Schmeichel
Tom Trout

committees
Governance and Planning, Boyd McCleary, Chair
Finance and Fund Development, Pat Carey and David Arnal, CoChairs
Marketing and Communications
Programs and Events, William Court, Chair

advisory council
David Ames
Dana Beach
Ernst Bruderer
Margo Farnsworth
Dodd Galbreath
Dave Harter
Susan Ketchum
Leslie Richardson
Allen Ward

former leadership
Teresa Wade, Founder
Mary-Stuart Alderman, Board Director and Officer
Nick Felix, Board Director
Tom McKay, Board Director and Officer
Joseph B. Fraser, Advisory Council

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 in the News
The LOOP
The LOOP Newsletter Summer 2016 (pdf 1 MB)
The LOOP Newsletter Summer 2014 (pdf 2MB)
The LOOP Newsletter Summer 2013 (pdf 2MB)
The LOOP Newsletter Winter 2013 (pdf 2MB)
The LOOP Newsletter Fall 2012 (pdf 2MB)

A sustainable message: Golf environmental experts meet in South Carolina (Oct 2014, Golfdom)
The Business of Green (Sept 2014, Hilton Head Monthly)
Zero Waste Workshop added to Sustainability in Golf event (Sept 2914, Golfdom)
Are You Experienced? (Feb 2014, Hilton Head Monthly)
Beyond the Green (Aug 2013, Hilton Head Monthly
The Outlook for Hilton Head in 2025 (Aug 2013, Hilton Head Monthly)
New Sustainability Study Ready to Launch (Jan 2013, Hilton Head Monthly)

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 sustainablecommunity development that addresses issues of concern.