The Hilton Head Island Institute begins a two-part fall "Calibogue Series" on Monday, with a focus on the island's environment and history.
Naturalist and author Todd Ballantine will explore how the Lowcountry environment can thrive as it changes, during a program titled "The Brave Future" from 9 a.m. to noon Monday at First Presbyterian Church, 540 William Hilton Parkway.
Hilton Head's growing population faces environmental challenges and community needs not foreseen by its early developers, according to the institute's website. Ballantine will present solutions to those problems and encourage island leaders and residents to take action to build a more resilient, livable community.
His address will be followed by a panel discussion featuring former Bluffton Mayor Emmett McCracken, University of South Carolina Beaufort professor John Salazar and Hilton Head Councilwoman Kim Likins. The panelists will discuss the community's challenges and opportunities, according to an institute news release. Afterward Ballantine will conduct a natural history beach walk.
On Tuesday, authors, historians and native islanders Emory Campbell, Bobby Donaldson, JoAnn Zeise and Thavolia Glymph will discuss the history of Mitchelville, the nation's first government-sanctioned town for freed and escaped slaves. It was established on Hilton Head in 1862. "The Dawn of Freedom" program begins at 9 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church.
An authentic Gullah lunch will follow. Attendees will then visit the Mitchelville Historic Park, site of the actual freedmen's town. At the park, attendees can follow self-guided tours and hear about life in the former village, according to the institute.
Cost is $35 for one day, $60 for both days and $10 for an additional lunch. Tickets for The Calibogue Series events and all of the Hilton Head Island Institute's 2013 events can be purchased at www.hiltonheadislandinstitute.org, at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina ticket office, or by calling 888-860-2787.