Who We Are
Hitchcock Woods is privately owned and managed by the Hitchcock Woods Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) charitable nonprofit, funded by donor support. The Hitchcock Woods Foundation is solely responsible for the ecological stewardship of the Woods and the physical maintenance of its recreational features. The Foundation was established by the Hitchcock family in 1939 to protect and maintain the Woods for the enjoyment and recreational use of the Aiken community. The Hitchcock family’s original gift of land (1190 acres) did not come with an endowment and the Foundation receives no operating support from municipal, county, state or federal taxes.
The Hitchcock Woods Foundation depends on the private support of those who value and enjoy this natural and historic treasure.
To protect and preserve the Hitchcock Woods in a natural and ecologically healthy state, maintain and manage historic and traditional equestrian and pedestrian uses, and foster education and research on the history and resources of the Woods.
To maintain and restore the ecological integrity of the Hitchcock Woods and to serve as a model for sustainable urban forestry, balancing stewardship of forestland natural resources with compatible human uses.
Since 1939, The Hitchcock Woods Foundation has protected and preserved the legacy of the Hitchcock’s. It 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.