Glendale Outdoor Leadership School Changes Ownership, Facility to Continue Community Environmental Outreach

COLUMBIA, SC — Located in Glendale South Carolina, the Glendale Outdoor Leadership School (GOLS) sits on a ridge above the dramatic shoals of Lawson’s Fork off the Pacolet River. GOLS, once a program of the Palmetto Conservation Foundation (PCF), was the host of community outdoor education, recreation, and leadership.

On Thursday, August 31, Palmetto Conservation Foundation transferred ownership of the Glendale Outdoor Leadership property and facility to the Local Hiker of Spartanburg, South Carolina. This exchange will ensure that the mission to foster environmental stewardship and create opportunities to enhance personal growth, healthy living and outdoor recreation will continue. GOLS provides hands‐on, experiential training for individuals of all ages.

GOLS was established in 2007 as a Palmetto Conservation Foundation program and was supported generously with major funding from the Mary Black Foundation in Spartanburg, SC. The community embarked on an "Imagine Glendale" visioning process in 2004, made possible with funding by the Mary Black Foundation. A priority for the town's residents was to preserve Glendale's historic structures, most importantly the Glendale United Methodist Church and accompanying buildings. GOLS owes its founding to the town of Glendale's commitment to preserving and revitalizing itself in the face of significant economic challenges. Like many mill towns in South Carolina, Glendale has suffered economically since the closure of its textile operations.

“The GOLS project is a true showcase of the power of partnership”, said Natalie Britt, Executive Director of the Palmetto Conservation Foundation. “Not only has GOLS been a true preservation project, it has shown the incredible impact of nature based tourism for healthy living and quality of life. Over the past decade we have trained hundreds of people from all walks of life in wilderness first aid, rock climbing, biking, camping, high & low challenge adventures and kayaking. We are so proud of our past but even more excited about the future with the amazing folks at Local Hiker taking over at the helm. The Local Hiker is passionate about continuing the mission of GOLS, allowing more community access and bringing outdoor recreation access to Glendale and the Upstate”.

Established in October of 2013, The Local Hiker is a locally owned business on the east end of Main Street in downtown Spartanburg, South Carolina. Their purpose in the upstate is to educate, encourage and equip those looking to get in the outdoors.   They want to ensure everyone has a great experience whether they're hiking, biking, climbing, camping or even kayaking.

The Local Hiker is excited about and looking forward to building on the foundation of the great programming already in place at GOLS! The Local Hiker will work towards continued growth and accessibility of GOLS programming knowing that what it has to offer can boost people’s confidence and overall health, all while exposing them to some pretty amazing outdoor recreation.

Plans for the property transfer began in earnest in early 2017. Palmetto Conservation Foundation discussed the property transfer with the Mary Black Foundation and other partners. The response from all supporters has been positive. On July 19th, 2017, Palmetto Conservation Foundation board of directors gave final approval for the real estate transaction.

The mission of the Glendale Outdoor Leadership School (GOLS) is to foster a learning environment dedicated to creating opportunities to enhance personal growth, healthy living, and environmental stewardship within individuals, communities, and society as a whole.

To learn more about Glendale Outdoor Leadership School, visit www.setgols.com and Facebook/GlendaleOutdoorLeadershipSchool or call 864‐586‐2021.

To learn more about Palmetto Conservation, the Palmetto Trail, and the Palmetto Conservation Corps, visit www.palmettoconservation.org and Facebook/palmettoconservation, or call 803‐771‐0870.