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The Cold Shoulder? Not here!

I was talking with an old friend from New England this week and they were still battling the weather with the near-blizzard conditions they have had all winter and they joked that walking their dog or getting in a nice jog or walk before work was really hard to do when the wind was blowing 35 miles an hour, it was snowing sideways, and the wind chill was somewhere around 20 below.  I laughed with them and cringed at the thought of it, and later, after I got off the phone, I had to smile at how good we have it here on Hilton Head.

I mentally ticked off all the public parks we had on the island, then went and double checked myself.  We have a bunch of parks!  Of course, I knew that we have 13 public parks, seven of which offer recreational facilities like soccer fields, basketball and tennis courts, and even skateboarding facilities, but to be honest, I had forgotten just how many we can enjoy.  This is in addition to the public boat ramps and the seven public beaches on Hilton Head.

Now, all of you know I love and make my home in Sea Pines, and I am certainly aware of Sea Pines Forest Preserve, and love it, but when you think about how unique it is, with the community gardens, the rookery for migratory birds, the ancient shell ring from the earliest settlers, and, of course, alligators; well, it is a very special place and we are blessed to have that kind of preserve here to share.

Then there is Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge on the causeway to our island home that encompasses nearly 4,000 acres of pristine salt marshes and tidal creeks and who knows how many different types of wildlife can be enjoyed on the miles of walking and biking trails.   I also regularly drive by the Audubon Newhall Preserve on Palmetto Bay Road, and it offers a unique look at the flora and fauna of this amazing place and reminds us of the natural beauty and diversity that we enjoy here.

By the time I was done daydreaming that day, all I could do was smile.  Despite the wide range of parks and preserves, public areas are a tradition here in the Low Country, and the best part?  Unlike my friend in the frozen Northeast, I will never have to shovel snow to go enjoy the parks here.

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