Arts & Culture

Twenty-five years of discoveries

The Coastal Discovery Museum was established to preserve the heritage of the Lowcountry. But over time, it's become part of the history of the island itself.

The museum celebrates its 25th anniversary this year with an afternoon full of family activities Saturday that showcase what it has promoted and preserved over its quarter century in existence.

What started in space that once housed a north end restaurant is now part of the 68-acre Honey Horn property filled with salt marshes, Spanish Moss-covered live oaks and an abundance of wildlife.

The anniversary celebration brings guests to the museum for no charge.

"What we have is a chance for families to come in and explore what the Coastal Discovery Museum is all about," said development and marketing director Robin Swift.

Each of the day's activities is an example of the culture and nature the museum seeks to protect and promote on a year-round basis. Those activities include:


Sweetgrass basket making demonstration: Daurus Niles and Michael Smalls carry on their family tradition of hand-weaving baskets with sweetgrass grown locally. The distant cousins recently had their work in the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of African Art.


Blue crab hunt: The blue crab makes a home in the waters off the docks on museum property. The crabs can be caught throughout the year in the Lowcountry but become inactive in the colder winter months. October through December is typically the best time to find the crabs at their biggest.


Butterfly enclosure tours: The Karen Wertheimer Butterfly Enclosure features more than six native species of butterflies including the zebra swallowtail and the monarch.


Marsh tacky introduction: Meet the two resident marsh tackies -- Bullet and Honey Horn May. The stout breed of horse is native to South Carolina, and the two at the museum are on loan from a member of the Carolina Marsh Tacky Association.


Learn about the loggerheads: The loggerhead sea turtle nests on Hilton Head between May and August. The museum manages the Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Protection Project that monitors nesting and hatching.