Group seeks $2,500 from Hilton Head council for nature study

bheffernan@islandpacket.comDecember 18, 2012 

  • Hilton Head Island Town Council heard about an audit of the town's financial records for fiscal year that ended June 30, 2012. The audit by Elliott Davis LLC uncovered no problems.

Harmony with nature has been a cornerstone of Hilton Head Island life; now, a group of residents wants to find out exactly long that coexistence can last.

Members of the Sustainability Advisory Committee asked Town Council at its meeting Tuesday for $2,500 toward the committee's $75,000 fundraising goal.

The money would be used to hire a consultant to measure key indicators, such as water, food and energy resources, waste generation, forest management and transportation.

The findings will be made public, according to Teresa Wade, founder and executive director of Experience Green, an island nonprofit group that promotes sustainability.

The information, the group says, will showcase what the town is doing well and offer direction in those areas that need improvement.

The project will be largely funded by private donations, but the committee wanted the town to show its support "in a significant way," said Peter Kristian, a committee member and community manager at Hilton Head Plantation.

He said the group also will ask Beaufort County for a donation of about the same amount.

"Right now, when the town has a lot of other pressing items ... we do not feel it is appropriate to ask them (the town) to fund this entire thing," said Kristian. "We're doing this from the community up, rather than the government down."

Sustainability was identified as one of the Key First Steps in Mayor Drew Laughlin's 2011 Task Force on the Future.

Council took no action on the request.

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