For The Record – Jekyll Island Foundation

Beautiful Solutions to Pesky Problems

CONSERVATION

Throughout the past fifteen years, Jekyll Island has been revitalized to become the beautiful island we know today. Necessary parking areas and park spaces have been redesigned with native plant landscaping, beautifying the infrastructure of the island in popular areas. One space, however, lacks this redesign—the public parking lot adjacent to Tortuga Jack's restaurant. Beyond the issue of the lack of native landscaping and screening vegetation, the site faces a functional problem. Without catchment in place, heavy island rainstorms cause excessive runoff stormwater to flow across Beachview Drive and into the mini-golf facility, causing water and debris damage. Read more to discover how JIA is utilizing donor support to fix the issues.

For The Record

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Meet Our Board: Hollis Linginfelter

With an analytical mind and a passion to serve, native Georgian Hollis Linginfelter works as the Jekyll Island Foundation Board Chair to help protect the island she has enjoyed throughout her life. As a “big fan of the outdoors,” with favorite activities including kayaking and walking through nature on the island, Hollis anticipates participating in conservation projects that will help protect the island environment while also ensuring access. One such project is JIA's expansion of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. For more than fifteen years, the GSTC has cared for sick and injured turtles, becoming a centerpiece to the mission and conservation of Jekyll Island. Hollis looks forward to working with the JIF board, helping to fund an expansion that will ultimately educate and impact Island guests from around the world.

Meet Our Donors: Dave & Donna Curtis

First introduced to Jekyll Island in 1985, Dave and Donna Curtis recognized a special quality within this unique coastal community. Dave Curtis, long time employee of Leon N. Weiner and Associates (LNWA), first came to Jekyll Island when the company took on the prospect of renovating the historic Jekyll Island Club property into a hotel. Tasked with putting together a group of investors for the project, Dave helped bring about the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, now known as the Jekyll Island Club Resort. In 1999, LNWA became more involved to help make positive changes and continues to do so today. Dave and Donna are now residents of Saint Simons Island and passionately invest in the future of Jekyll Island.

Dr. James Clinton Wilkes

EDUCATION / BLACK HISTORY

An advocate for the end of segregation in Brunswick and the Golden Isles, Dr. James Clinton Wilkes made strides in civil rights for the community during the 1960’s. As president of the Black Dental Association of Georgia, Dr. Wilkes worked to create a convention space, named the St. Andrews Auditorium, within the Dolphin Club on Jekyll Island to host the Association’s annual convention. St. Andrews Auditorium became a rich community center until the peaceful desegregation of Jekyll Island in 1964.

New Features at Chichota Cottage

PRESERVATION

In 1897, a new home stood out as the only one-story cottage in the Jekyll Island Club complex. Chichota Cottage was unique, built by well-known contractor David H. King, Jr., as his Italianate Villa getaway. The home changed hands in 1898 to new owners Edwin and Sarah Gould and their two young sons, who turned the vacation home into an idyllic getaway for their summer months.

Crawling into Nesting Season

EDUCATION / EVENTS

Can you believe JIF has been working together with the Georgia Sea Turtle Center for almost ten years, supporting diamondback terrapin health and research initiatives? Efforts to educate visitors and protect these turtles on Georgia's coast always increase during nesting season. Beginning in May, GSTC staff are on the lookout for female terrapins crossing the causeway and nesting sea turtles on Jekyll's beaches. Find out more about conservation efforts by registering for GSTC-lead nesting season programming.

Here before you know it!

CONSERVATION

The Causeway and back-barrier marshes are a truly special part of the Jekyll Island experience that connects the Island with the broader community of Brunswick and the Golden Isles. Like the State Park boundary, the work of the Jekyll Island Foundation doesn’t stop at the foot of the bridge onto the Island.

Genoa Martin, Jekyll Island Trailblazer

EDUCATION

In 1955, as the first construction project approved by the Jekyll Island State Park Authority for St. Andrews Beach, the Beach Pavilion brought concessions, a jukebox, and other amenities to the area. The second project, a set of segregated residential and commercial lots called St. Andrews Subdivision, was approved in the same year. Following the success of the nearby Dolphin Club Motor Hotel and Lounge during the late 1950s and early 1960s, some local residents began to choose spots for vacation homes at St. Andrews Beach.

It’s Turtle Crawl, Ya’ll!

EVENTS

Join turtle-lovers on April 30 at our annual island race celebrating the incredible work of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center! Since 2003, Jekyll Island Authority has organized this fundraising favorite, which includes 5K and 10K beachside races, plus a 1K fun run. Virtual participation is possible, too! And all are welcome at the after-race “Shell-a-brate” event—full of educational activities and photo ops with mascot Scute C. Turtle.

A Year of Progress at Hollybourne Cottage

PRESERVATION

Hollybourne Cottage is “the most important structure, in my opinion, on the coast of Georgia,” says Taylor Davis, hired in 2017 as the Jekyll Island Authority’s historic preservationist. During the past year, Davis and many volunteers have worked to make improvements to Hollybourne Cottage. The most visible project is the roof, where old growth cypress shingles were replaced with fire-, rot-, and bug-resistant cedar. A stove hood was rehung in the house’s service wing, along with a basement door that was also preserved. Work continues on the dining room ceiling, including new lath (wooden strips). Read more about the meticulous process of preservation related to Hollybourne.

Providing for Wildlife at Horton Pond

CONSERVATION

A recent donor-funded project is benefitting Horton Pond and the surrounding viewing area—keeping it safe for wildlife and maintaining this beautiful natural area for visitors. As a manmade pond with no incoming water source, the risk of stagnation is high. A new aeration system—entirely solar-powered—is helpfully limiting algae and is providing oxygen for the pond’s fish. Make a visit to Horton Pond soon and enjoy wildlife, plants, water, and trails.

The island’s lush tree cover is not all mother nature’s doing

CONSERVATION

They’re a favorite Jekyll Island feature—the gorgeous canopy of live oaks lining the roadways, and the wide variety of other trees dotting our coastal environment. Cliff Gawron, director of landscape and planning for the Jekyll Island Authority, works hard with his team to preserve the beauty of each tree native to the island. Challenges to tree health are always present—saltwater, tides, temperatures, commercial development, and periodic hurricane events. Read more about the continued work needed to help Jekyll’s tree canopy grow and thrive. And find out how you can support the future of our beautiful environment by purchasing a plant-a-tree tribute gift!

Dave Jackson and Jekyll Island’s Dolphin Club

EDUCATION / EVENTS

A respected black banker, farmer, and businessman, Dave Jackson hailed from the small town of Adel, Georgia. In 1960, he leased the Dolphin Club property from the JIA and turned it into a thriving black vacation destination. Today, the Dolphin Club and the Jackson family, who helped it become so successful, remain part of the island’s rich history.

Turtle Crawl Returns to the Road

EVENTS

After two years of canceled or virtual-only events, the Jekyll Island Authority is excited to welcome turtle lovers back to Jekyll Island to race in celebration of our coast’s sea turtle nesting season. The annual Turtle Crawl has raised over $100,000 since 2003 to fund the rehabilitation, research, and education efforts of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. All three races—a 5K, 10K, and a 1K Fun Run—will take place on Saturday, April 30, 2022. Sign up early to be a part of this important fundraising event!

Celebrating 75 Years of the State Era

PRESERVATION / EVENTS

“A playground that now belongs to every Georgian.” These words by Georgia’s Governor Melvin Thompson in 1948 perfectly describe one of our island’s most significant transitions—from a private club-owned property to a Georgia State Park managed by the Jekyll Island Authority. Now, seventy-five years later, Jekyll has achieved well-deserved status as a popular coastal destination.

Shorebirds

CONSERVATION

During a research study project conducted between 2020 and 2021, State Sea Grant Fellowship student Sergio Sabat-Bonilla gathered data on Jekyll shorebirds—focusing specifically on four species popular along our island’s beaches. Pandemic-altered tourism patterns have impacted coastal wildlife and their habitats. Thanks to Sergio’s data collection, we now know much more about these birds and their daily and seasonal habits.

Plunging into Winter Rescue

CONSERVATION/EDUCATION

An inaugural Jekyll event—the Cold-Stunned Plunge—held Saturday, November 27, 2021, at Jekyll Island, has raised over $8,000 for turtle rehab at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. Atlantic turtles are often cold-stunned when weather turns suddenly cooler, and the GSTC is presently working to rehabilitate ten turtles struggling with this hypothermia-like condition due to chilly weather experienced in the fall of 2021. Thank you to the 250 event participants and those supporting them in this Thanksgiving weekend fundraiser!

Holly Jolly Jekyll Returns!

EVENTS

The most wonderful time of the year is just around the corner: From November 26 through January 2, Jekyll is buzzing with seasonal festivities and family-friendly events, including trolley-ride or self-guided Holly Jolly Light Tours showcasing more than a million lights. Kick off the season with the Cold-Stunned Plunge November 27 and support the GSTC! Shop at the new Holly Jolly Jekyll Trading Post—a Christmas-themed shop with island novelties and gifts. Or check out Peppermint Land at Jekyll Island Mini Golf, drive-in seasonal movies, and fireworks on select evenings.

The Wanderer Memory Trail

PRESERVATION

Jekyll’s outdoor exhibit—the Wanderer Memory Trail—commemorates an important piece of the island’s history. To counteract the wear and tear of visitor use, the Jekyll Island Authority has recommended improvements to the historic Trail’s audio stations, path, and exhibits. Upgrades are scheduled to be done next spring—plan a visit!

A Look at Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes on Jekyll Island

CONSERVATION

Snakes on Jekyll have been the focus of wildlife research for a decade, and thanks to recent donor support, scientists have utilized bloodwork to study the health of a particular island species—the eastern diamondback rattlesnake. The research team collected blood chemistry data from several of the island’s eastern diamondbacks, gaining insight into snake sickness and stress as well as pregnancy-predictive chemical levels.

The Patrol Team

CONSERVATION / EDUCATION

From sea turtles on Jekyll’s oceanfront beaches, to freshwater turtles and box turtles on the island’s interior, to diamondback terrapins that inhabit our marshes, each one is studied by the Georgia Sea Turtle Center team and JIA conservationists. GSTC day and night beach patrols are part of a unique, long-running project—consistently supporting egg protection, hatchling development, and better coastal habitat management.

Finding Freedom in the War of 1812

EDUCATION

African American slaves serving at Jekyll’s Horton House found a way out of their circumstances when British ships attacked the island during the War of 1812. Learn the dramatic stories of their deliverance and departure from Jekyll—and of the plunder of homes along the Southern coast—all told in the exhibits now open at Mosaic, Jekyll Island Museum.

Take the Plunge, Raise Some Funds!

EVENTS

Take a "cold-stunned" plunge into the chilly Atlantic in support of sea turtles on the Georgia coast! Join us for the newest fun, and a little frigid, fundraising event for the Jekyll Island Authority’s Georgia Sea Turtle Center. Many sea turtles get caught in hypothermic water temperatures during the winter months, and your support will assist with cold-stun rehabilitation and recovery. Take the plunge and raise some funds!

Scute’s School Expands Wildlife Education Online

EDUCATION

No one imagined that the limitations of COVID-19 would actually extend the Georgia Sea Turtle Center’s wildlife learning opportunities, with offerings reaching over a million online viewers. When the pandemic shut down in-person visits, the GSTC conservation team was forced to pivot, launching Scute’s School, a series of interactive crafts, videos, and activities.

Chichota Courtyard Rehabilitation

PRESERVATION

Another piece of Jekyll’s preserved history is now open for visitors to enjoy and explore. The ruins of Chicota Cottage date back to 1897, and thanks to a generous donation in 2020, the original courtyard area of this historic site has been beautifully rehabilitated, featuring some of the original quarry tiles.

The “ology” of Gatorology

CONSERVATION / EDUCATION

Gatorology, a wildlife education opportunity led by Jekyll Island Park Rangers, gives guests greater respect for one of the island’s most interesting creatures. Learn a little gator history—from earliest records ‘til now. Touch a baby gator. And find out why it’s important to keep some distance between you and these reptilian Jekyll residents.

A Story of Resistance

EDUCATION

Former enslaved men and women on Jekyll Island did not resign themselves to servitude. Their determined efforts to escape captivity were clearly documented in newspaper advertisements. At the time of the original publication, advertisers listed a thorough description of the individual in hopes of a hasty capture. Today, these advertisements reveal the hidden histories of those who risked their lives to resist slavery and pursue freedom. They provide a glimpse at personal details about some of the millions of men, women, and children who suffered bondage, including those enslaved on Jekyll Island.

Tracking Victoria—A Resident Female Bobcat

CONSERVATION

If you’ve spotted a bobcat on Jekyll Island, there’s a good possibility it might be Victoria—a female that JIA's conservation team fitted with a tracking collar in 2020. Tracking this bobcat’s movements has been fascinating, revealing her exploration of much of the island, including the prey-populated scrub on the southern end. Learn more about Victoria and how you can support the needs of predatory wildlife in our region.

“Maymester” at the Georgia Coast

PRESERVATION / EDUCATION

May 2021 marked the fourth summer for college and graduate students to partner with the Jekyll Island Historic Resources team in a unique, accelerated field study opportunity called “Maymester.” This two-week, intensive, hands-on learning experience provides mutual benefit for the students and the Jekyll Island Authority. While earning course credit, students help staff progress on various Jekyll restoration projects.

Frontera’s GSTC Experience

CONSERVATION / EDUCATION

When Frontera—a Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle—arrived at the JIA's Georgia Sea Turtle Center in March 2021, she was extremely lethargic, had several fractures on her shell, and could not open her eyes. But her journey of recovery has been amazing in the last few months. Thanks to the dedication of the GSTC staff, donations for wound care products, and new equipment, including an x-ray machine, Frontera is on the mend!

Record-Setting 2021 Turtle Crawl

EVENTS

The name “Turtle Crawl” doesn’t sound record-breaking in any sense! But this year’s JIA athletic event resulted in fundraising beyond any prior year’s totals. Held virtually on May 1, this race is an island favorite, supporting Rehabilitation, Research, and Education efforts of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. Thank you for supporting this important work!

Hear Their Stories

EDUCATION

The Wanderer – the documented, yacht-turned-slave ship carrying an illegal cargo of people from Africa to the United States – landed on Jekyll Island on November 28, 1858. Read the history and stories of the captives and those who enslaved them in the articles and links within. Walk in their footprints and see how they lived along The Wanderer Memory Trail on the southern shores of Jekyll Island.

Jekyll Island: Better Together

CONSERVATION

The beauty and care of Jekyll Island thrives under partnerships, helping to advance conservation, restoration, and sustainability through shared goals. Like the mutually beneficial relationships of nature, partnerships such as those between the Jekyll Island Authority (JIA) and Jekyll Island Foundation (JIF) have built long-lasting efforts that keep Jekyll Island a natural treasure for everyone. Read more to learn about the valuable partnerships of Jekyll Island.

Rollin’ with Research: New UTV Helps Turtle Conservation

CONSERVATION

Jekyll’s turtle population is always under surveillance—and that daily—and nightly—activity just got easier for our Georgia Sea Turtle Center research staff with the provision of a new utility terrain vehicle (UTV). Thanks to JIF donors, the research team can cover more ground, better track turtle movements, and patrol beaches, golf courses, and residential areas more thoroughly.

A Symphony in Color

MARKETING

A unique piece of Jekyll Island history, the stained-glass masterpiece 'David Set Singers Before the Lord' by Louis Comfort Tiffany, is a true feat of expertise, talent, and artistic ability. Now, celebrate 100 years of the beautiful piece that calls Jekyll Island home by exploring the deep history of Faith Chapel, Tiffany, and the historic window within through a unique immersive experience. Visit Mosaic, Jekyll Island Museum and experience the beauty firsthand.

A Visit to Hollybourne Cottage: Celebrate Preservation Month

PRESERVATION/EDUCATION

One of Jekyll Island's most beloved ongoing preservation projects is Hollybourne Cottage. Built in 1891 by bridge construction expert and Jekyll Island Club original member Charles Maurice, the family home uniquely represents an era of Jekyll’s past. Schedule a tour of this beautiful cottage to see restoration in action.

Tracking the Arrival of the Nesting Loggerheads

CONSERVATION

It’s the season for nesting loggerheads on Jekyll—and all the beach patrols, turtle nest monitoring, hatchling data collection, and guest observation activities are about to begin. Georgia Sea Turtle Center staff and AmeriCorps members are excited to begin another summer of care for some of Jekyll’s most beloved animals. Find out how and when you can be involved in supporting wildlife conservation for our island’s turtles.

Preserving the Gullah Geechee Heritage

PRESERVATION / EDUCATION

The ancestors of the Gullah Geechee people came to the United States as enslaved Africans, beginning in the 1700s. Today, the Gullah Geechee culture can be found along the Southeastern coast of South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida. The community has retained many cultural traditions such as sweetgrass basketmaking and ring shouting, passed down from their African ancestors.

2021 Virtual Turtle Crawl

EVENTS

It’s spring—and a favorite Jekyll Island tradition is on the calendar once again! This year, in an effort to keep all race participants safe, the annual Turtle Crawl race will be held virtually. Runners and walkers of all ages can chart their own course on May 1, 2021. And all funds from race registrations will continue to support the Georgia Sea Turtle Center’s mission of sea turtle rehabilitation, research, and education. Sign up to become a sea turtle ambassador and race for a cause.

Rise to the Challenges of Sustainability

CONSERVATION

Measuring sustainability is challenging, but the Jekyll Island Authority’s commitment to maintain “the delicate balance between nature and humankind” means we must continue to take steps forward to care for our island environment. Read about innovative conservation efforts happening now—charting a path to cleaner air, responsible water use, and waste reduction.

Mosaic Museum - Happy 2nd Anniversary

EDUCATION

Approaching its 2nd anniversary, Mosaic, Jekyll Island Museum weathered the COVID-19 pandemic with minimal disruption. During those quiet weeks, the Mosaic staff took a proactive approach to create new opportunities and programming. With safety protocols in place, the Mosaic reopened touting new tours leaving from the facility, including Ranger Walks to see the island’s active bald eagle nest and exciting seasonal programming, making the most of the 2020 holiday season. READ MORE to see what’s next.

Keeping Jekyll Island Beautiful

CONSERVATION

Marine debris cleanup events and monitoring continue on Jekyll Island! Each year the Georgia Sea Turtle Center manages ongoing initiatives to monitor, collect, and investigate coastal marine debris issues. GSTC staff and volunteers work to keep the environment and beaches of the island clean.

Caring for Collections

PRESERVATION

“Ghost tools” from Horton House, a 1931 oil painting, a colorful stained-glass window, and a carriage that’s more than a hundred years old . . . each of these beautiful artifacts has been examined by conservationists and cleaned for display. Jekyll Island Museum staff are taking measures to ensure long-term care for these items, and many more, to ensure Jekyll Island’s history is preserved for future generations to enjoy.

The School on Red Row

BLACK HISTORY ON JEKYLL ISLAND

School was an important part of life for Jekyll Island’s working families. By the 1920s, the last home on Red Row had been converted into a schoolhouse for children of the African American employees of the Jekyll Island Club. On average, ten to fifteen pupils attended the little schoolhouse. Over the years, teachers included Professor Wilder, Katye Cash, and Anna Hill.

The ‘Hunt’ Is Back!

EVENTS

It’s back!—your opportunity to join Jekyll’s annual January-February treasure hunt. Approximately 250 hollow glass balls are concealed around the island each winter, and anyone is welcome to search for and find them. Each clear glass globe may then be traded in for a beautiful, colored Island Treasure, created for this event by talented American artisans in the historic style of fishermen’s net-marker globes. Visit Jekyll in the next month to enjoy this activity yourself.

Summer Wildlife & Ecology Tours

EDUCATION/EVENTS

Georgia Sea Turtle Center staff are gearing up for one of their best summer guest opportunities: evening and sunrise beach walks. Plan now to join researchers on a stroll of Jekyll’s coast. These up-close events—offered from June through August—give you a chance to learn about turtle lifecycles, witness nest inventories, or catch a glimpse of a loggerhead hatchling!

Wildlife on the Move

CONSERVATION

Jekyll Island Conservation staff is working hard to create wildlife corridors—safe spaces for the wild animals of our island to eat, move, thrive, and survive. Habitat connectivity is critical as we make sure that the landscape of Jekyll is danger-free, accommodating the needs of mammals, reptiles, birds, and insects. Learn more about how you can support these conservation efforts on Jekyll Island.

In the Service of Others

EDUCATION

February—known as Black History Month—is the perfect time to explore the stories of Jekyll’s dedicated African-American workforce. A new Mosaic, Jekyll Island Museum exhibit tells of Charlie Hill, his extended family, and others who faithfully served members of the Jekyll Island Club in the 1930s and for many decades. The labor of these service employees impacted the landscape, facilities, and activities of Jekyll’s club community. Visit the museum to learn more about these employees’ lives, contributions, and legacy.

A Highlight of the First Annual Paulk Cup Classic

EVENTS

The successful inauguration of the Paulk Cup Classic recognized golf legend Johnny Paulk and his influence on Jekyll Island golf. This annual tournament benefits the Jekyll Island Foundation, a cause about which Paulk was passionate. To honor Paulk, three generations of his family presented the Paulk Cup at the tournament’s opening ceremony. Read more about this event and the plans for next year’s tournament.

Festivals of Speed: Boutique Display of Cars

EVENTS

The Jekyll Island Club Resort is hosting Festivals of Speed—a boutique Display of Cars—on its Riverfront Lawn on December 13, free to the public. Car enthusiasts may be involved in a number of ways, from entering their exotic or muscle cars in the contests to visiting the event and viewing cars on display, and even bidding on LIVE auction items including artwork by Thomas Arvid, benefitting the Jekyll Island Foundation. Arrive Saturday evening to attend a ticketed welcome cocktail reception on December 12. Follow the link below to read the details for the Festivals of Speed event.

Celebrate Christmas Past and Present

EDUCATION / EVENTS

Christmas is a magical time of year, especially on Jekyll Island! View the stained-glass masterpiece “Adoration of the Christ Child” in the historic Faith Chapel, take a trolley tour to explore favorite Jekyll Christmas traditions, or visit the elaborate light displays around the island to kindle your holiday spirit. Read all about the many festive activities available on Jekyll Island.

Looking Out for Turtles: Terrapin Conservation on the Jekyll Island Causeway

CONSERVATION / EDUCATION

Guests of Jekyll Island in the late spring and early summer may find unexpected obstacles on the causeway. Female diamondback terrapins seek out elevated sites for their eggs, and when they get too close to the causeway, they are often hit by cars. Georgia Sea Turtle Center personnel conduct a terrapin census, care for injured animals, mark and relocate uninjured terrapins, and generally work to conserve the diamondback terrapin population. Read more about the wildlife conservation efforts of the GSTC.

Jekyll Hosts Georgia Sea Grant Fellow in Partnership with Georgia Audubon

CONSERVATION

Puerto Rican native Sergio Sabat-Bonilla comes to Jekyll Island as a Georgia Sea Grant State Fellow. In this capacity, he hopes to promote conservation of the birds of Georgia’s coastal region. Sabat-Bonilla’s passion and education position him to expand conservation efforts in our area. Read about the exciting work being accomplished Jekyll Island and in Georgia.

Holly Jolly Jekyll

EVENTS

It’s the best time of the year! The Holly Jolly Jekyll season has been reimagined to ensure guests will remain safe and healthy while participating in activities the whole family will enjoy. From fireworks to playing a round of mini golf under twinkling lights, every day of the Holly Jolly Jekyll season is filled with joy and merriment.

Loggerhead sea turtles return to nest on Jekyll Island: It’s All in the Numbers

CONSERVATION

As another successful nesting season comes to a close on Jekyll Island, you mayonder, "How do the GSTC researchers keep track of all these individuals?" Follow the link to learn more about their research, programs, and ways you can join in the fun!

Mistletoe Sunroom: Saved from the Ravages of Time

CONSERVATION / PRESERVATION

We invite you to celebrate the reopening of Mistletoe Cottage! Following extensive efforts to rehabilitate the sunroom to its Jekyll Island Club Era appearance, the original beauty of the cottage can now be discovered through tours and special programs of the historic district.

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake: Cutting-Edge Research to Assess the Health of an Imperiled Predator

CONSERVATION

Turtles, dolphins, alligators, and deer are animals Jekyll Island visitors may expect to see, but a top predator like the Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake? A conservation priority to the JIA since 2011, these beautiful creatures have mastered the art of avoiding people and blending in with their surroundings, while contributing to the ecological stabilization on the island.

The Beauty of Increase

CONSERVE-PRESERVE-EDUCATE

Increase comes in many forms—nature, wildlife, and historic research projects, relationship building with friends who become family, and organizational upgrades. Now, thousands of guests enjoy the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, Mosaic Museum, and multiple viewing platforms and nature trails. And behind the scenes there are practical use, repair, and research projects like wildlife transport vans and ATV’s, and historic cottage repairs happening all around. Let’s take a quick journey back at what we’ve accomplished together and a glance at what's to come!

Horton Pond Awaits

CONSERVATION

Horton Pond is our island’s timeless theater of biodiversity—with dragonflies, herons, wood ducks, and reptiles showing off their summer beauty. You can join us “up close” for a unique educational experience at Horton Pond: Gatorology—a ranger-led program scheduled twice each week. Space is limited.

Hollybourne’s Public Debut!

EDUCATION

Our Mosaic Museum staff are standing by to take you on a comprehensive tour of a unique island treasure—Hollybourne Cottage, built in 1890. This in-depth restoration project is now, for the first time ever, open for public tours after twenty years of careful work to preserve its beauty and present its historic glory.

The Georgia Sea Turtle Center’s Doors are Open!

CONSERVATION

Ready to get out and enjoy our gorgeous island again? The Georgia Sea Turtle Center is now open to the public—with room to distance and enjoy eco-learning in a well-sanitized space. Stop in to learn more about the diamondback terrapins we care for in our coastal environment, sign up to participate in our next turtle walk, or get an update on our female turtles’ rehabilitation.

Support Begins with a Souvenir

MARKETING

It’s hard to capture the meaning of a visit to a beautiful location like Jekyll Island. But our new online store—just opened in July—features all kinds of memorabilia to help you remember the magic of your coastal visits. (Check out a few of our most popular items below.) Read more about the variety of merchandise available in this newly opened Jekyll Island web shop!

To serve, or not to serve, that is the question.

CONSERVATION / EDUCATION

To serve, or not to serve, that is the question. Nearly 200 GSTC AmeriCorps volunteers have helped to facilitate the work of our coastal turtle rehab and research center in the last eleven years—contributing to our island’s wildlife welfare and gaining valuable civic experience in the process. Read more about this partnership program and learn how AmeriCorps members have utilized their coastal Georgia service experience in veterinary, educational, or scientific careers.

A Legacy of Leadership

EDUCATION

100 years ago this summer, Narcissa Vanderlip and other prominent suffragist members of the Jekyll Island Club finally experienced the fruit of their labors: American women were granted the right to vote. “I literally marched for women’s rights,” Mrs. Vanderlip stated regarding her involvement in New York’s League for Women Voters. Learn more about the efforts of these women, who used their social prominence for social good. An exhibit is on display now at Mosaic, the Jekyll Island Museum.

A New Entry Gate System Upon Arrival to Jekyll Island

MARKETING

With nearly two years of evaluating and planning, alongside intensive testing and quality assurance phases, a new gate entry system is now in operation on Jekyll Island. Featuring intuitive touch screens and informative visual displays, the system is designed to make trips onto the island more efficient and convenient for visitors, residents, employees of island businesses, and service providers. In addition to the new technology deployed at the entry gates, an enhanced online portal has been launched to improve the process for annual pass purchases and renewals and allow for single or multi-day passes to be purchased in advance of arrival.

Jekyll’s Wilson’s Plovers Expand Nesting Territory

CONSERVATION

Although Wilson’s plovers—shorebirds monitored on Jekyll since 2015—are classified as threatened by the State of Georgia, the number of nesting pairs appears to be trending upward, and we are now seeing these birds nest in places that they had not previously been using. Read more about the plovers’ coastal nesting environments and how Jekyll beach-goers can protect adult plovers and their chicks.

Rescue, Raise, & Release

CONSERVATION

Rescuing, Raising, & Releasing Diamondback Terrapin hatchlings - Take a one-year journey into the first year of a hatchling from being found in egg along the causeway, to witnessing their birth as they poke their head out of the shell, to watching them swim, eat, and grow, and finally being released back into the marsh.

The Eagles of Jekyll Island

CONSERVATION

While spring may be thought of as the time of rebirth and renewal, particularly in nature, that time occurs in the fall for those of us in conservation. That’s the time of year when the Bald Eagles return to Jekyll.

Journey of Chocolate, the Green Sea Turtle

CONSERVATION

During the winter months the Georgia Sea Turtle Center commonly receives cold stunned turtles, often from other parts of the country, such as Massachusetts. Each year the GSTC creates a “naming theme” for these patients. One year the theme was ice cream flavors and a young green turtle patient that year was named “Chocolate.”

Mosaic: A Year in Review

EDUCATION

April marks the one-year anniversary of the opening of Mosaic, the Jekyll Island Museum. Housed in the old Jekyll Island Club Stables, Mosaic pays tribute to its roots.

Explore the History of Hollybourne—The Bridge Builder's Cottage

PRESERVATION

Built in 1891, Hollybourne Cottage is a Jacobethan-style, two-story property that once belonged to a prominent bridge builder—Charles Stewart Maurice. The cottage is unique since it’s the only one of that era to be constructed with tabby—a concrete mixture of lime, sand, and shell.

Annual Turtle Crawl Continues Inclusive Format, Draws More Participants

CONSERVATION/EDUCATION

The annual Jekyll Island Turtle Crawl—taking place March 14, 2020—is shaping up to beat its own record. Previously a triathlon-focused race, the event was revamped last year to offer new race formats and attract a wider variety of participants. The decision has proved to be a wise one, as nearly 1,000 people participated in the 2019 Turtle Crawl 10K, 5K, and family 1-mile Fun Run.

Maintaining Coastal Dune Muhly Meadows on Jekyll with Prescribed Fire

CONSERVATION

This January, JIA’s conservation department used prescribed fire to maintain a restored muhly meadow along Beachview Road. Using fire helps maximize the grass community and prevents bushy trees like wax myrtles and pines from taking over.

Hollybourne: 20 Years of Preservation

PRESERVATION/EDUCATION

The preservation of Hollybourne has been a project near and dear to many hearts for over twenty years. The Bridge Builder’s Cottage, as it is often referred to, is unique among the many cottages on Jekyll Island. This project, while long from complete, is allowing us to preserve the beauty of the cottage for future visitors to the island. Many volunteers have donated their time to the project over the years, and many groups such as the Jekyll Island Foundation have helped to fund renovations for the cottage.

Blast from the Past

CONSERVATION

“Throughout the summer months (May - August), the beaches of Jekyll Island become more than just a place to stroll, collect seashells, and catch breathtaking sunrises. During the evenings, these beaches are visited by female loggerhead sea turtles determined to lay their eggs without interference. About 60 days later these same beaches are paths to a new life for hundreds of loggerhead hatchlings.”

Horton Trail Project Yields Exciting Piece of History

CONSERVATION

Through a generous gift from an anonymous donor, Jekyll Island Foundation (JIF) funded the materials necessary for Jekyll Island Authority (JIA) to improve Major Horton Road, now a multi-use trail closed to vehicle access that crosses the island and connects the Horton House colonial site to the Horton Pond wildlife-viewing area – building upon the success of that prior JIF project.

Pollution Problems for Marine Turtle Moms

CONSERVATION

The Georgia Sea Turtle Center partnered with collaborators to find out if Loggerhead Sea Turtles that lay their eggs on Jekyll Island have persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in their blood and if they are passing them down to their hatchlings. This is the first study (that we know of) that aims to discover if POPs exist in wild Loggerhead Sea Turtles. The GSTC depends on- and is grateful to- Jekyll Island Foundation donors to keep the research in motion – quite literally.

New Georgia Sea Turtle Center License Plate Now Available

CONSERVATION/EDUCATION

The new Georgia Sea Turtle Center specialty license plate features a familiar face. Drivers can support the center build awareness of the important research and conservation work being done on Jekyll Island, when they apply for the plate.

New school field trip program at Mosaic

PRESERVATION

A stroll through a museum is often accompanied by the voices of school children on a field trip. With the opening of Mosaic, The Jekyll Island Museum, the education staff has been working on creating new field trip experiences for students coming to Jekyll Island. Educators identified over 130 Social Studies and English Language Arts Georgia Standards of Excellence that serve as the basis for the programs now being offered to schools.

Diamondback Terrapin on Jekyll Island

CONSERVATION

The 2019 Diamondback Terrapin (DBT) nesting season officially ended on July 26th. From the first terrapin found on April 7th to the last on July 30th, 485 adult females were encountered while attempting to nest on the Jekyll Island Causeway.

Mosaic Outdoor Education Programming

EDUCATION

As one of the new educators for the Mosaic Museum, I am very excited to be a part of Jekyll Island. I came into this position with a lot of ideas for programming at the Mosaic, along with the museum’s outdoor space, known as the “Paddock”.

Introducing BAFA – Butterflies of the Atlantic Flyway Alliance

CONSERVATION

Fall is the time of year that many of us look forward to watching some of our favorite seasonal wildlife species passing through Jekyll as they are moving from one region to another. This year look for migrating butterflies in addition to migratory birds featured overhead as you walk into the lobby of our newly renovated Mosaic Museum.

Honoring loved ones with a tribute gift

A story of Larry and Jann Bennett as shared by Rob and Jody (Bennett) Reichel

Rob and Jody Reichel first learned about Jekyll Island Foundation through JIF Executive Director Dion Davis, a close friend of Jody’s parents—Larry and Jann Bennett. Longtime residents of Hilton Head Island, Rob and Jody have four children and four (soon to be five) grandchildren. Recently, Jody told their story to Dion.

Shrimp & Grits Festival earns accolades, national attention

EVENT

How do you make the ‘Best Festival in the Southeast’ even better? With a bit of imagination. And a lot of grits! After earning the top award from the Southeast Festivals and Events Association, the Jekyll Island Authority events staff is working to make the 2019 Shrimp & Grits Festival even more successful. New additions to the festival, which will be held Sept. 20-22, include the ‘Go for the Grits’ 5K race. Participants will literally be going for the grits, with the fastest 200 runners taking home a bag of their own, along with a race t-shirt.

Pappi’s Adventures at THE Georgia Sea Turtle Center

CONSERVATION

Pappi was a juvenile green sea turtle that stranded on Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island on July 29, 2018. Pappi was extremely debilitated and had severe fibropapillomatosis (FP) upon initial evaluation.

Flying to New Heights for Birds with the Mosaic

CONSERVATION

Migratory birds are front and center, welcoming visitors to the Mosaic - the reimagined museum of Jekyll Island.

Continued Restoration of Hollybourne Cottage

PRESERVATION

We have continued the restoration and improvement of Hollybourne Cottage. Tabby paving is now in place and it restores the carriage drive, also referred to as the “welcoming arms.”

Mosaic Revealed!

Events

More than a thousand visitors attended grand opening festivities on April 27 for Mosaic, and since then thousands more have experienced the reimagined Jekyll Island museum.

Enhancing Jekyll Island for Native Wildlife

CONSERVATION / EDUCATION

Opportunities abound on Jekyll to establish and promote ecosystem values that better support the creatures that call our island home – those animals that share the landscape with us, and whose forbears shared it with Jekyll Island Club members and with Native Americans.

Jekyll Island named top travel designation

EVENTS

Money magazine ranked Jekyll Island No. 1 among U.S. travel destinations on its list of “The 20 Best Places to Go in 2019.” This is just one of many accolades earned so far this year.

Night Moves

CONSERVATION

The waters off Jekyll Island will soon be full of giant marine reptiles. We expect the Loggerhead Sea Turtles in our region to begin crawling onto our beaches in May to lay their nests, something they can do up to eight or nine times in a season.

Charity: A Teaching Opportunity

For years the Ross family gave gifts to our six children and 14 grandchildren. In the months leading up to Christmas 2017, my wife, Queenie and I were discussing our thoughts for the upcoming season of giving. We have been very blessed and so have our children and their children. What can we give them that they could take throughout their life? As we thought about it, we could not come up with a single item that they really needed.

The Mosaic is Emerging!

We're forty days and counting to the grand reopening of Mosaic, the Jekyll Island Museum. The revitalized museum reflects a complete metamorphosis of the old stables, museum, and gift shop into a dynamic, interactive, and exciting environment where visitors can experience the beauty, history, nature, and culture of Jekyll Island.

Networking: Sea Turtle Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Release in Costa Rica

Read the report—Georgia Sea Turtle Center Director and Veterinarian Dr. Terry Norton shares a personal narrative of the success of GTC's work in Costa Rica. Dr. Norton writes, "The Parque Marino is an aquarium in Costa Rica that participates in sea turtle rehabilitation and has acted as the hub of our training programs.

Major Horton Road Restored!

The Jekyll Island Foundation's initiative—to make one of the island’s oldest roads available for all to experience and enjoy—is nearing completion. Working alongside the JIA conservation team, the Foundation saw a great opportunity in this project to create connectivity between the Horton House site and the Horton Pond site. Visitors will be able to park in small lots at either site and experience both while enjoying a walk in the woods along a historic route.

Jekyll Island Book Festival

Returns to Beach Village April 6th

Calling all bibliophiles and book worms! The Second Annual Jekyll Island Book Festival will transform the Beach Village Green into a hub of literary activity on Saturday, April 6, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Your Dollars at Work

Mosaic Ahead of Schedule

The rundown, old and tired, exhibits at the stable building are gone as is the old theater that was a building inside a building. Thanks to the hard work of the Jekyll Island Foundation, the Stable building is being transformed and reborn. The work on the structure, such as the installation of the climate control, roof, electrical upgrades, and wallboard are ahead of schedule.

Your Dollars at Work

Diamond Terrapin Nesting

From the first Terrapin found on April 19 to the last on July 20, 492 adult female Diamondback Terrapins were encountered on the Jekyll Island Causeway attempting to nest. Of those 492, 381 individuals were safely worked up and moved off the road– that’s a save rate of about 80 percent.

Your Dollars at Work

Sun, Sand, and Sea Turtle Nests

Jekyll Island is one of only two remaining islands in the state of Georgia that continues to patrol its beaches at night in search of nesting sea turtle. All in all, the patrol team encountered 46 different sea turtle moms depositing their precious eggs beneath the earth. Jekyll Island’s grand total was 121 nests, roughly seven percent of Georgia’s 1,741 total nests.

Your Dollars at Work

Turtles Get New Digital X-ray System

The Georgia Sea Turtle Center receives hundreds of injured and ill wildlife patients each year. Patients treated at the GSTC include sea turtles, diamondback terrapins, native freshwater and land turtles, alligators, snakes, and birds. Since opening its doors in 2007, the GSTC has successfully treated and released over 2,500 animals.

Your Dollars at Work

Hollybourne Cottage Structural Repairs

The Jekyll Island Foundation’s generous donors helped to defray the cost of the architectural and engineering services that were the key element in the success of this important restoration project. Donor contributions helped to insure that Hollybourne Cottage will remain a spectacular architectural example and important historic asset in our National Historic Landmark District for years to come.

Contact Us

Jekyll Island Foundation

P.O. Box 13002, Jekyll Island, GA 31527
Phone: (912) 635-4100

 

Looking to contact the Jekyll Island Authority? Please click here.