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** Archived Article - please check for current information. **

May 21, 2015DNR volunteers honored with Spirit of Cooperation Award

Since Botany Bay Plantation and Wildlife Management Area opened in 2008, a dedicated team of volunteers has been there every step of the way to help the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manage the property for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Now the volunteer program has been recognized for its contributions to Charleston County, among whose citizens the Edisto Island property has quickly become a beloved destination.
The DNR Botany Bay Plantation volunteer program was recognized May 15 at the Annual Community Pride Awards Presentation. The annual ceremony is put on by Community Pride of Charleston County, Inc., a program sponsored by the Charleston County Park & Recreation Committee, SCE&G, Clemson University Extension Service, and Charleston County, among others. DNR was recognized in conjunction with the Edisto Island Preservation Alliance.

Nearly 100 active volunteers log approximately 9,000 yearly hours at Botany Bay, where they’re the first line of contact for visitors. They’ve helped maintain and restore some of the property’s historic structures, and they often assist DNR biologists with projects to protect coastal fauna such as sea turtles and shorebirds.

“The volunteers have become the good-natured face of the place,” said Ravenel Mayer Opal Baldwin, who presented the Spirit of Cooperation award to Bess Kellett, DNR volunteer coordinator for the property. Five volunteers accompanied Kellett to the ceremony.

The Spirit of Cooperation Award recognizes “individuals, businesses, government municipalities or civic organizations that have partnered to undertake projects that have significantly improved the environment,” according to the Community Pride of Charleston County website.

“What an honor to receive this wonderful award,” said Kellett. “Botany Bay Plantation is a true treasure, and it is a great compliment to the dedicated volunteers who were recognized for just ‘loving and maintaining’ this beautiful property.”

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