Sustainability Efforts

A New Vision for Gulf Coast Tourism

Our commitment to a great getaway goes hand in hand with learning about and protecting nature. Surrounded by the natural beauty of Alabama’s Gulf State Park, guests have access to 6,150 acres of protected habitat, including nine distinct ecosystems ranging from coastal pine forests to sun-splashed beaches and sand dunes that are home to an array of unique flora and fauna.

We hold a firm belief that it is our responsibility to both celebrate and protect the bountiful biodiversity found here, so that future generations may continue to enjoy this special region that pre-eminent naturalist and Alabama native, E. O Wilson, called “America’s Amazon.”  As such, we are deeply dedicated to the principles and practices of sustainable tourism, based upon the three key pillars of:

  • Environmentally-friendly operations and facilities
  • Support for the protection of cultural and natural heritage
  • Social and economic benefits to local people
Alabama beach
Three Owls

In addition to engaging in an array of important conservation efforts, such as the Share the Beach endangered sea turtle monitoring program, and eliminating all single-use plastic water bottles and plastic straws on property and during guest excursions, we are constantly striving to become a model for sustainability by using:

  • Biodegradable materials and recycling all paper, aluminum, and glass;
  • Energy efficient LED lighting;
  • Environmentally-friendly cleaning products;
  • BeeKind natural bathroom amenities, which donates a portion of its proceeds to native bee pollination research;
  • Creating a bike share program to reduce carbon emissions.

We also believe that conservation success is directly connected to supporting our local communities:

  • 98% of our staff are from the local area;
  • As much as possible, our food supplies come from local farmers and fishermen, based upon sustainable sourcing;
  • Supporting our local artists’ by displaying their work in our office, restaurant, and in all the cottages, as well as making them available in our gift shop;
  • Our gift shop features local items, including pecans, honey, and bath products that only use natural ingredients;
  • We collaborate with Alabama colleges to provide internship opportunities for students interested in careers in hospitality and sustainable tourism.

In addition, we proudly support other conservation efforts, among them:

  • On-going natural dune restoration and removal of invasive species;
  • Maintaining 28 miles of hiking and bicycle trails with educational signage to learn about local ecology and ecosystem restoration;
  • Operating a natural history Learning Campus and Interpretive Center based upon sustainable building design and construction;
  • Promoting volunteer opportunities, such as the Annual Coastal Cleanup.

Our Woodside Studios are re-open! We do not anticipate reopening our Lakeside Cabins until 2024. For updates on our progress, please follow us on Facebook.