Michelle McCollum is the director of the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor which has been promoting the incredible natural and cultural assets of South Carolina for many years. Michelle’s creativity and charisma has brought many diverse groups together to stimulate economic development and highlight the state’s rural and urban communities and natural resources. She has the experience and acumen to work with government and private entities and navigate the changing landscapes of business and politics to produce multiple media outlets along with innovative projects and events. Michelle has been able to not only keep SCNHC going through many challenges, she also has managed to keep the organization growing in many exciting ways.
I first worked with SCNHC when they helped to fund the “Web of Water”, a collaborative education documentary produced by Organic Process Productions, which followed my kayak trip across the state as we met with the different people and explored the natural areas in order to educate about the waterways. SCETV and Knowitall.org created a companion website with resources for teachers and students.
I also worked closely with SCNHC and my friend Rhoda Green on projects related to the the Barbados and Carolina connection to help tell the fascinating story of our shared heritage that was so influential in creating the United States.
Michelle and SCNHC associate, Lauren Ponder, were also huge supporters of environmental education projects such as the South Carolina Great Outdoors and EECapacity projects that I was heavily involved in. These projects led us to reach out to our diverse cultures and communities to inspire more interaction with the outdoors so more people of different ethnic and social economic backgrounds could gain a better understanding of the treasures they have in the nature and history all around them as well as realize they are part of it.
Now, I am happy to be working with Michelle and SCNHC once again on efforts to promote PaddleSC.org and help to create a paddle-share program in the Lowcountry. I am also pleased to help support the Youth for Environment and Sustainability (YES) program spearheaded by SCNHC’s Abbey.
South Carolina should be proud to have someone like Michelle McCollum championing the amazing resources in this state so more people can appreciate, protect and add to the economic vitality.