Protecting and Preserving a Legacy
Hitchcock Woods is privately owned and managed by the Hitchcock Woods Foundation, a 501(c) (3) charitable nonprofit, funded by donor support. The Foundation was established by the Hitchcock family in 1939 to protect and maintain the Woods for the recreational use and enjoyment of the Aiken community.
The Hitchcock Woods Foundation depends on the private support of those who value and enjoy this environmental, recreational, and cultural resource and treasure in Aiken.
Since 1939, The Hitchcock Woods Foundation has:
- Protected the Woods from threats associated with mining, timbering and residential development.
- Expanded the Hitchcock Family’s original gift of 1,190 acres to over 2,100 acres today.
- Established a forest management plan to protect and preserve the Woods in a natural and ecologically healthy state and to assess and address threats to the Woods.
- Preserved remnants of the historic longleaf pine wiregrass ecosystem and implemented a restoration plan that has resulted in a healthier, more resilient forest, and the reintroduction of the federally endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker.
- Secured Designations to preserve and protect the Woods including, National Register of Historic Places, Heritage Trust Preserve and Safe Harbor.
- Preserved historic Woods traditions started by Mr. and Mrs. Hitchcock including the Aiken Horse Show, Aiken Drag, and the Axe Club.
- Conducted an archaeological survey of the Woods resulting in an inventory of historically significant sites, artifacts, and a Cultural Resources Management Plan to guide our efforts to share and protect them for future generations.
Current Foundation priorities include:
- Working with the City of Aiken to stop the damage to the Woods caused by stormwater runoff.
- Endowing the Foundation to sustain and ensure our future work on behalf of the Woods.
- Educating and engaging current and future generations in the stewardship of this resource.