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AUGUSTA, GEORGIA | Our Regional Offices put in a lot of hard work to maintain our 550 national preserves.  Site maintenance can include regular mowing, stabilization work, and installing No Trespassing signs, surveillance cameras, and fencing to protect it.  However, some of our sites have unique conditions that require more innovative solutions.

Donkey at gracing at Stallings Island

One of the Island’s gentle donkeys grazing during Nikki Mattson’s recent visit to the preserve. | Photo: Nikki Mattson (2021)

One such site is Stallings Island Preserve located just outside of Augusta. Stallings Island was the center of excitement last August as an aggressive male donkey was relocated from the island by a handful of volunteers and a couple of boats. Both donkeys and goats were introduced on the Island in 2008 to control plant overgrowth, which was difficult to maintain with traditional mowing equipment.

On a more recent visit, Southeast Field Representative Nikki Mattson delivered an artifact display and educational poster for Stallings Island Preserve to the Columbia County Visitor Center. The artifact display and poster can be viewed at the visitor center inside Savannah Rapids Park in Martinez, GA, which is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm.

Stallings Island Poster at the Visit Center

Visitor Centers Employees with our new education poster. | Photo Nikki Mattson (2021)

SE Field Rep Nikki Mattson

Southeast Field Representative Nikki Mattson

Nikki also visited the Preserve where she conducted routine maintenance such as checking surveillance cameras and posting additional No Trespassing signs.  Trespassing is a continual threat to the site as the Island is a landmark along a popular kayaking route.

Stallings Island Preserve is one of the most archaeologically significant sites in the southeast. The site contains a large prehistoric shell mound and has yielded examples of the oldest, documented Native American pottery in North America.  Stallings Island was donated to The Archaeological Conservancy by the Knox family in 1997.  Since then, massive stabilization efforts have taken place on the Island to help ensure its preservation. This includes filling over 300 looter holes, installing fences, increasing the number of No Trespassing signs, and adding surveillance cameras to monitor illegal activity.

Kayakers observing goats at Stallings Island

Kayakers stop to take photos of the goats as they float by Stallings Island. | Photo Nikki Mattson (2021)

The work necessary to maintain these Preserves is funded solely by the generous donations of our Members and Supporters. We want to thank you all for your continued support!

| The Archaeological Conservancy 2021