David J. Wielicki
In our 29th year of operation we look forward to meeting the challenges of the many exciting waterfowl conservation and natural resource education opportunities before us. Thanks to the support of thousands of members, volunteers and corporate sponsors 2015 will be the best year yet for SCWA.
In the past 6 months we have made over $300,000 worth of capital improvements to the 410 acre SCWA Wildlife Education Center, the home of Camp Woodie and Camp Leopold. Attendance at both conservation camps will break past records with Camp Woodie attendance projected to exceed 850 youth and Camp Leopold attendance projected to exceed 3,000 student campers. You can be proud of the fact that your Association is a national leader in passing on the legacy of our wildlife heritage. Within three years Camp Woodie annual attendance is expected to reach 1,080 youth while Camp Leopold attendance will exceed 10,000 students each school year. Thanks to camp scholarship funding from individuals, chapters and corporations, donated scholarships will allow over one thousand youth to attend camp programs free of charge on an annual basis.
This year the SCWA Board of Directors has taken a major step in securing the future of SCWA wildlife conservation and education programs by setting up the SCWA Endowment and Planned Giving Program. The SCWA endowment will provide reliable annual income to support SCWA programs. Endowment funding will help SCWA to maintain and enhance the Wildlife Education Center and to keep program tuition fees as low as possible. The SCWA endowment will also support waterfowl conservation programs.
In the coming year, SCWA waterfowl biologists will continue to enhance waterfowl and wetland habitat by providing technical assistance to private and public landowners across South Carolina. SCWA looks forward to working with SCDNR, Ducks Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl and the South Carolina Conservation Bank as a member of the new Pintail Partners Program. Pintail Partners is working to provide increased waterfowl hunting opportunities for South Carolina youth while also working to enhance waterfowl habitat and hunting opportunity across South Carolina.
On the waterfowl habitat front, we are very excited about the abundant spring rainfall across South Carolina. The wet conditions will help local wood duck populations to have a successful nesting season. This year SCWA will install and distribute 300 wood duck nest boxes across South Carolina. We look forward to increased wood duck populations.
The future of SCWA looks bright thanks to the support of a wonderful team of members, dedicated volunteers, experienced staff and a committed Board of Directors. If you are not involved in supporting SCWA we hope you will become a member or chapter volunteer. Your support is essential to achieving our mission to enhance and perpetuate South Carolina’s wildlife heritage through education and waterfowl habitat conservation.
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