Palmetto Conservation Foundation

Founded in 1989, the Palmetto Conservation Foundation (PCF) actively preserves South Carolina’s natural and cultural resources.    The PCF works to do this by making nature accessible while conserving it, building and maintaining the Palmetto Trail and keeping it open to the public at no charge, growing South Carolina communities while maintaining local character, and teaching preservation and outdoor skills.  From the upstate to the coast spans the Palmetto Trail, the best known project of the PCF.  Currently, the trail covers over 350 miles over 14 counties.  The goal is for the trail to cover 500 miles continuously from Oconee County to Charleston County, from the mountains to the sea.  There are currently 26 passages, and the trail can be reached in about two hours from any part of the State.

The Glendale Outdoor Learning School (GOLS) is an educational program that PCF offers to teach outdoor skills and safely enjoy the Palmetto Trail and other outdoor adventures.  GOLS is the only program in South Carolina offering SOLO Wilderness Medicine Certification, including first aid, first responder, and recertification courses.  The PCF also partners with other organizations to use environmental conservation as an outreach tool through the SC Youth Challenge Academy.  In partnership with the SC National Guard at McCrady Training Center, SC Youth Challenge Academy gives high school dropouts a chance to learn vital skills, study for the GED, and give back to the community by maintaining the Fort Jackson Passage of the Palmetto Trail.

Elephant Ear Design created a mobile-responsive website for the PCF on WordPress, featuring beautiful photography of the Palmetto Trail at the top of each page.  The right sidebar of each page has alternating quotes about the PCF, trail tips, and suggestions for trail etiquette.  Branded colors, themes, and details all evoke an outdoor vive and remain consistent throughout the site.

An animated and interactive map of the Palmetto Trail, custom-created by Elephant Ear, creates a wonderful visual element for site visitors to see where specific passages of the Trail can be accessed across the state.  Each passage icon, when activated, pulls up a quick list of information about the passage.  By clicking a “Learn More” button, visitors are taken to individual pages for each passage with great detail including the location, difficulty level, length, special activities, and directions.  Downloadable maps are also included on the pages for each passage, and can be changed out or uploaded on the back end of WordPress by site managers.  If a visitor wishes to access information about a passage without viewing the map, they can skip directly to the Passages page of the website to see them in list format.

The PCF website also features an online store, where books about the great outdoors can be purchased easily.  Elephant Ear created a Share function on the PCF website, allowing visitors to the Palmetto Trail to submit stories and pictures documenting their experiences.  Site managers can then moderate and post the submissions, keeping the PCF community up to date with recent Palmetto Trail adventures.

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