Visions of a salt marsh, Spanish moss and live oaks are the images that come to mind for many people when they think of South Carolina. There is no better place to discover that rich natural heritage than the Edisto Interpretive Center located in Edisto Beach State Park and managed by the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.
The services, programs and exhibits in the facility promote the value of the ACE Basin Estuarine Reserve, the largest such natural reserve on the East Coast, and methods to live more compatibly with the environment. The $3.3 million building was funded by a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Estuarine Reserve Research program.
The S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) uses the facility for education programs and marine research services. The center is located near Edisto Beach State Park's Live Oak Boat Landing off SC 174, 50 miles southeast of Charleston.
For more information on the center at Edisto Beach State Park, call the park at (843) 869-4430 or check the Web site at http://www.discoversouthcarolina.com/stateparks/parkdetail.asp?PID=1298.
Called a "green building," the center also practices the "tread more lightly" ethic it preaches. Its design uses sustainable technology for everyday utilities such as lighting, heating, plumbing and air conditioning. Its construction process also included waste reduction practices and retention of as much natural vegetation as possible. Some of the structural technology includes a rainwater collection system that stores water for use in the restrooms; a geothermal heating and air conditioning system that uses natural heat found in the soil; rot-resistant cement fiber siding that requires little maintenance; and pervious concrete that allows storm water to percolate to the ground rather than run off into nearby marshes and waterways.