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Media Release

Town of Hilton Head Island Hires Consultant to Help With Gullah-Geechee Preservation Efforts & Heirs Property Issues

Release Date: September 21, 2018

Contact Information:
Carolyn Grant email icon , Communications Director, 843-341-4618


The Town of Hilton Head Island has hired The Walker Collaborative to explore and develop sustainable solutions for preserving the island's Gullah culture, and plans to introduce the firm's team of consultants during kick-off meetings on Tuesday, September 25.

The Town's Gullah-Geechee Land and Cultural Preservation Task Force kick-off meeting with the preservation consultants is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Palmetto Electric community room, 11 Mathews Drive. A community input meeting will follow at 5:30 p.m. at the Hilton Head Island Branch Library, 11 Beach City Road.

During these sessions, the community will have an opportunity to meet Phil Walker, principal of the Walker Collaborative, based in Nashville, Tennessee. Residents will also meet other members of Walker's team including Victoria Smalls, a St. Helena Island native with experience in cultural preservation, and Craig Richardson, a zoning expert who has prior experience working on zoning issues for the Town of Hilton Head Island. "Their primary job is to provide sustainable ideas for preservation of the Gullah culture and to address heirs' property concerns," said Jennifer Ray, Planning and Special Projects Manager for the Town of Hilton Head Island.

Gullah-Geechee culture preservation is one of the Town Council’s top priorities. The Walker Collaborative was selected from among three firms that submitted proposals for this project, which will take four to six months to complete, Ray said. The firm has worked on a wide range of planning projects, including downtown and neighborhood revitalization, historic preservation, comprehensive planning, zoning, development design standards, and community visioning.

For more information, contact Jayme Lopko, Senior Planner, at 843-341-4695 or jaymel@hiltonheadislandsc.gov.