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Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina – Volunteer Vacations 2022

April 24 - April 30

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The chain of national wildlife refuges that forms the Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex extends from Pinckney Island NWR near Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, to Wolf Island NWR near Darien, Georgia. The Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, established April 6, 1927, consists of 31,551 acres of freshwater marshes, tidal rivers and creeks, and bottomland hardwoods. About half the refuge is bottomland, composed primarily of cypress, gum, and maple species.

Volunteers will work on the Swamp Edge Boardwalk trail to provide visitor access to a cypress swamp adjacent to the Refuge Visitor Center. The boardwalk will be approximately 420 feet long and will be built mostly over water 1 to 1.5 feet deep. The framework will be constructed using pressure treated lumber supported on steel pilings designed to minimize disturbance to the environment. The decking boards will be Brazilian Walnut which was illegally harvested and was confiscated by USFWS Port Inspectors on entry to the United States. The intent of using this lumber in the boardwalk is to provide an educational experience for visitors to emphasize the importance of preserving and protecting our natural resources. The project will be supervised by an experienced USFWS Volunteer, and all required tools and equipment will be provided. American Hiking Society volunteers should provide waterproof knee boots or hip waders. Work will include hauling, framing, and decking material while assisting with helical piling installation and boardwalk construction.

AHS acknowledges with gratitude that this project takes place on the traditional lands of the Yamassee and Mvskoke (Muscogee / Creek) peoples past and present. We honor the land itself, the Indigenous communities who have stewarded this land for generations, and those who continue to steward these lands today. AHS invites all volunteers to join us in our commitment to support and amplify the work of Indigenous communities as they work to dismantle the systems of oppression that these communities continue to face today.


Fish and Wildlife Service




Day hiking up to 1 mile each work day.

Project Rating


Minimum Volunteer Age


Maximum Group Size


Area and Attractions

The Savannah National Wildlife Refuge is located along the Savannah River in South Carolina and Georgia, minutes from historic Savannah, Georgia and within two hours of other metropolitan areas like Charleston, South Carolina. The 31,551 acre Savannah NWR is home to a large variety of wildlife including: ducks, geese. wading birds, shorebirds, and several endangered and or threatened species. The refuge provides thousands of visitors an opportunity to see and learn about wildlife species and their native freshwater tidal marsh and bottomland hardwood habitats. The city of Savannah is a charming Southern escape where art, period architecture, trendy boutiques and ghost stories are all set under a veil of Spanish moss. Savannah is a place with a wide variety of cuisine that comes straight from the coast. Come and take a walk down Riverstreet, a historic district filled with cobblestoned squares and parks such as Forsyth Park shaded by oak trees covered with Spanish moss. Visitors can enjoy public beaches, kayaking, boating, and fishing opportunities as well as a thriving arts and cultural scene.

Accommodations Description

Volunteers will stay in a four bedroom house with 8 twin beds, showers, full kitchen, and washer and dryers. Showers and flush toilets are available throughout the week. Volunteers are also welcome to camp outside the bunkhouse if they prefer. If camping, volunteers will need to provide their own personal camp gear including tent, sleeping pad and sleeping bag. Please contact [email protected] for assistance with gear needs.


Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport in Savannah, GA is the closest major airport. Airport pick up and drop off is available for volunteers and will be arranged upon confirmation of the trip.


Savannah National Wildlife Refuge
694 Beech Hill Lane, Hardeevill, South Carolina 29927 United States + Google Map