The South Carolina Waterfowl Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that exists to enhance and perpetuate South Carolina’s wildlife heritage through education and habitat conservation. Donate to SCWA to fund education and habitat programs by clicking below.
A Message from the Chief Executive Officer – David Wielicki
SCWA Wildlife Education Center Master Plan Progress
Thanks to support from SCWA Chapters, Major Donors, and the SCWA Mega Conservation Education Raffle (Premier Supporter Palmetto State Armory), SCWA has made major strides towards our three-year goal to raise an additional $8,675,000 to complete the Wildlife Education Center master plan.
In the past 6 months, we have completed over $1.6 million in expansion projects including:
- Purchase of the 140 Acre Historic Richardson Tract
This property is adjacent to Lake Marion and is across the road from the main campus of the Wildlife Education Center. The tract will be home to the Apprentice/Instructor campus, new nature trails, two sporting clay courses, dove fields, upland bird habitat, and overflow parking for SCWA events. The property provides our education staff with access to Lake Marion and a variety of upland and bottomland hardwood habitats. It also surrounds the historic Richardson Cemetery, Revolutionary War General, Richard Richardson’s family Cemetery, Plantation home site (Big Home), and an original section of the old river road that connected Charleston to Camden (1732). The addition of this property increases the total Wildlife Education Center Campus to 1,375 acres.
- Parade Ground
We removed the old Chace Lodge to create a large parade ground and flag pole area. This provides a morning flag ceremony and open-play recreational areas for campers and enhances the view of Bullington Pond. The Parade Ground also provides display and seating space for large festival events. We owe a special thank you to Blanchard Machinery and Trident Waste and Recycling for helping with the removal of the Chace Lodge.
- Three Activity Center Restroom and Rest Areas
These three facilities allow us to keep campers at activity/conservation education sites for longer periods. This has greatly improved the quality of Camp Woodie and Camp Leopold programs. In the future, we look forward to adding three more facilities. I would like to give a special thanks to Eastern Industrial Supply, Knights Ready Mix, City Electric, Dennis Electric, P&M Builders, Blanchard Machinery, and Construction Services of South Carolina, LLC for their donations and expert construction services on this project.
- RV and Tent Camping Sites
48 RV and 100 tent campsites were completed in April. These sites expand SCWA’s ability to host large Outdoor Education Heritage events including fishing and shooting tournaments, fish and game fairs, and the recent BirdFest which was attended by over 1,000 people. These events help to introduce thousands of people to SCWA conservation education programs. I would like to thank Blanchard Machinery and McClam and Associates for donating heavy equipment used to complete this project.
- Expanded Shooting Games Facility
With help from top shooting instructor John Higgins, we redesigned our Camp Woodie shotgun sports program to include 5 different shooting game stations for youth instruction. The campers love the new setup and enjoy learning and competing with other camper groups.
- Safety and Security Fence
A safety and security fence was installed to restrict access of any unauthorized vehicles to the main campus. This fence along with security gates helps to ensure the safety of our campers and staff.
We Need Your Support
SCWA volunteers, Board members, and staff are working hard to raise additional funds to meet our goal of $8.7 million to complete the Wildlife Education Center master plan. The completion of these projects will allow SCWA to expand Camp Woodie from 1,600 to 2,400 campers. Camp Leopold will expand to 15,000 campers while Outdoor Heritage events will expand to 10,000 attendees and the Gary Dietrich Wildlife Management Apprentice program will expand to 20 apprentices.
The future of our natural resources depends on educating the next generation of conservationists. If you would like more information on how you can partner with us to enhance and expand the nation’s leading youth and adult conservation education center, please contact David Wielicki at 803-600-8979 or firstname.lastname@example.org.