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Holly Jolly Jekyll


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.

For The Record

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


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


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


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


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


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!


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!


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


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


“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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Continued Restoration of Hollybourne Cottage


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!


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


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


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


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.

Your Dollars at Work

Wilson's Plover Nesting

This year was a tempestuous season for Jekyll Island’s Wilson’s Plovers with record highs and lows. This season the JIA Conservation Staff identified a Jekyll-record 34 Wilson’s Plover nests. After a rough beginning to the season where fish crows moved in and depredated more than 10 nests, we made the decision to remove all camera monitoring equipment to reduce the chance of attracting more attention by fish crows.

Your Dollars at Work

Major Horton Road Restored

The Foundation’s initiative to make one of the island’s oldest roads available for all to experience and enjoy is nearing completion. Major Horton Road connects the Historic Horton House colonial site on the west side of the island to the Horton Pond natural area on the east side of the island. The road is an unpaved route quite possibly dating back to colonial times when the Horton House was occupied, but first appearing on maps in 1918, during the Jekyll Island Club era.

Around the Island

Wanderer Memory Trail Opening

On November 28, 1858, more than 400 men, women, and children were brought to shore on Jekyll Island. Illegally smuggled into the United States aboard the Wanderer, a luxury yacht turned slave ship, these captives were among the last groups of enslaved Africans sold into slavery in America.

Around the Island

Holly Jolly Jekyll is Here

It’s the most wonderful time of the year on Jekyll Island. We have “snow” and “ice skating” and plenty of holiday cheer and fun for the whole family. Here are a few highlights of the season.

From Our Executive Director

February is the Month of LOVE

It’s February and the month of love. After running our #LOVEJekyllIsland photo contest in the fall, we heard and saw how many of you LOVE Jekyll Island. How exciting! And here are the results…

Your Dollars at Work

Newly Wrapped Vans an Integral Part of 2017 Terrapin Patrol

The 2017 diamondback terrapin nesting season officially came to a close on August 1st!

Your Dollars at Work

Flying Drones for Conservation

Jekyll Island Authority’s Georgia Sea Turtle Center was recently involved in a drone building workshop with four of our partner conservation organizations in Costa Rica.

Your Dollars at Work

Wilson’s Plover End of Season Report 2017

With the 2017 nesting season behind us, Jekyll Island’s Wilson’s Plovers have migrated away from our beautiful beaches.

Your Dollars at Work

Girls of Summer

Wintertime for the research team means we are reminiscing over the girls of summer (sea turtles that is).

From Our Executive Director

Welcome to our new look and website

This is an exciting week for the Jekyll Island Foundation as we introduce our fresh, new brand identity and website, paving the way for GROWTH!

Your Dollars at Work

Wilson’s Plover Mid-Season Update 2017

Wilson’s Plover nesting season is in full swing here on Jekyll Island and the Jekyll Island Authority (JIA) Conservation Department has been busy continuing the advancement of shorebird monitoring efforts with the help of the Jekyll Island Foundation.

Your Dollars at Work

WATCH OUT! New GSTC Vans Hit The Roads.

Have you been driving down the causeway at high tide lately? Well if so, you have probably seen our newly wrapped Georgia Sea Turtle Center vans out and about.

Your Dollars at Work

New Discovery Station Exhibit

The Jekyll Island Authority’s (JIA) Georgia Sea Turtle Center (GSTC) is pleased to announce the installation of the brand new Discovery Station exhibit brought to our public through the generous support...

Around The Island

Shrimp & Grits festival just around the bend

Named the “2017 Best Festival in the Southeast” by Southeast Festival and Events Association, the Jekyll Island Shrimp and Grits Festival combines the classic southern dish with family-friendly entertainment...

Around the Island

State Bond Funds to Improve Life Safety and Access Issues in the Historic District

Recently, the Jekyll Island Authority (JIA) board approved $1.6M in state bond funds to be used over the next five years...

Your Dollars at Work

Mountain Mama

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 turtles. As an ongoing effort that first began in 1958...

Meet Our Board

Barbara Mayo “Boog” Candler

Barbara Mayo “Boog” Candler has two very active passions that have run the thread of her life: land and history. Scratch that. Candler has three very active passions...

From the Executive Director

America the Beautiful

I grew up in Arizona. Anyone who has been out west, especially the southwest, knows ... IT. IS. HOT!

Contact Us

Jekyll Island Foundation

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