The Foundation is dedicated to fostering education and research on the history and resources of the Woods, and engaging current and future generations in its stewardship.

Educational Field Trips and Tours

Hitchcock Woods serves as a classroom for Hitchcock Woods Eco-Hikes facilitated through the Ruth Patrick Science Center. Hitchcock Woods Eco-Hikes educate students about Woods flora, fauna and management practices, while also addressing SC learning standards. For more information about the Ruth Patrick Science Center Eco-Hikes, please visit Self guided field trip programs and tours for groups of 10 or more participants are welcome but require advance notice and adherence to special guidelines. Please view our visitor guidelines for more information.

Educational Programs and Events:

The Hitchcock Woods Foundation hosts a variety of events that educate participants of all ages about the natural and cultural history and resources of the Woods, including the Annual Festival of the Woods and the Aiken Horse Show. Foundation staff also provide Woods education presentations and talks for community groups such as garden clubs, service organizations, church groups, etc…dependent on staff availability. Requests should be directed to

Community Outreach and Presentations:

The Hitchcock Woods Foundation participates in the City of Aiken’s Annual Aiken Earth Day celebration and the SEED (Science Education Enrichment Day) Event held in October each year on the University of South Carolina Aiken campus. Foundation staff also provide Woods education presentations and talks for community groups annually, upon request.

Celestine Eustis Essay Contest

Winner $500 Cash Prize

Reserve Winner $100 Cash Prize

Area students are invited to participate in the Hitchcock Woods annual Celestine Eustis Essay Contest. Célestine Eustis purchased land in the pine forests of Aiken more than 130 years ago. She had a passion for flora and fauna, and loved the serenity of the Woods. Celestine’s niece was Louise Eustis (Mrs. Thomas Hitchcock.) She helped to ensure that her family and future generations could enjoy what we know today as Hitchcock Woods.

Applicants describe why the Woods are important to them and detail their use and enjoyment of the Woods. For more information click here.

All entries must be received by June 30th. A panel of judges reviews all entries and selects a recipient whose appreciation of the Woods is in the tradition of Celestine Eustis. Winners are selected by September 1st and recognized at the annual Festival of the Woods.

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