Palmetto Bluff Conservancy


The Conservancy at Palmetto Bluff was founded in 2003 with a mission of protecting the lush maritime forests and winding tidal creeks that defined the spectacular geography of the land that is home to Palmetto Bluff. By maintaining the ecological and environmental integrity of the lands at the confluence of the May, Cooper and New Rivers, we're able to ensure that the ancient Maritime Forest or Live Oak and Palmetto are almost exactly as William Hilton saw them 400 years ago.

The Palmetto Bluff Conservancy is dedicated to increasing our understanding of the natural and cultural environment of the Lowcountry. From biological and archaeological studies by PhD-level scientists to the "citizen science” bluebird survey, the Conservancy team is actively involved in a number of research initiatives at the Bluff. Current projects include surveys of alligator, turtle, white-tailed deer and bird populations, monitoring of bald eagle nests, a study of cavity-nest use and correlation with habitat, and the analysis of artifacts from antebellum Pettigrew Plantation. Members and guests may participate in research and results are presented in informal discussions and formal presentations.


Nature and Property Tours

From the high bluffs along the May River to the low-lying wetlands in the River Road Preserve, Palmetto Bluff naturalists have spent years documenting the unique environmental mosaic of Palmetto Bluff. We invite you to join  a Conservancy staffer for a walk through one or more of these dynamic areas to experience firsthand the wonders of nature. Walk through a swamp looking for snakes and frogs; watch fiddler crabs scurry while you explore the hard marsh; or follow the sound of a warbler through maritime forests. Don’t miss one of the many ed-ventures at the Bluff.

  • Bimonthly: We have a regularly scheduled nature tours for Inn guests and Palmetto Bluff Club members

  • Anytime: Members may schedule a private tour.

History - Digging Deeper

History is the fabric of our community, and with the help of an on-site archaeologist, Dr. Mary Socci, we study artifacts that reveal the fascinating details about previous occupants of the area. These artifacts are on display at the History Center at Palmetto Bluff, with some dating back 12,000 years. The History Center features an historic "timeline wall” as well as maps and miniature exhibits. The timeline wall traces Palmetto Bluff's past from 10,000 B.C. to present day and recounts things such as the history of early Native Americans who inhabited the local area as well as specific events from the more recent past. Free and open to the public, The History Center is located on Boat House Row in Wilson Village. 

Lectures, Programs and Workshops

Each month the Conservancy provides regularly scheduled activities. The Members' Calendar will give you topics and times, but we’ve outlined the kinds of programs below:

  • The First Friday Lecture Series: Held on the first Friday of each month and focusing on a variety of ecological and historical topics, these lectures are held at the Conservancy Classroom in Moreland Village.  

  • Brown Bag Lunch Series: Held most months, these informal talks are more varied and often focus on community issues such as water quality or green building. This is also where our archaeologist goes back in time to share findings from “digs” on the Bluff.

  • Field trips: The Lowcountry extends beyond our community “border” and our field trips explore areas of natural or cultural importance outside our gate.

  • Programs and events: The Conservancy offers a variety of workshops, special weekends, or events designed to immerse our residents in a particular topic. Check the calendar for details.

Upcoming Events