Willie "Halo" Heyward - CEO of Preserve the Gullah

Willie "Halo" Heyward - CEO of Preserve the Gullah

Local Pulse is a nature preserve and venue space that focuses on our commonalities, improves the health and heritage of our families, and transforms our society out of the current socio-economic separations, by creating cross cultural exchange thru the universal languages of music and food and common interest.
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As a rapidly growing community with deep heritage and a high population of diverse cultures, we need places to connect and explore what draws us all together. As urban sprawl meets our rural areas, we need common ground to celebrate our heritage and work on what our communities are becoming together. So many are drawn to this place because of its proximity, heritage and quality of life contributions to a wonderful nearby city. As we expand, the current culture is concerned and willing to reach out to new comers with our local heritage so as to enmesh their involvement with the rural life of the sea islands. So much beauty is possible to come from this openness and excitement to living together. The Local Pulse project is intended to reach to all walks of life with the common interest threads that meet our needs with solutions and mutual benefit. We begin by being an advocate for grass roots events in our community. We continue to develop relationships with local entrepreneurs, multi generational farmers, holders of the love of culture and knowledgeable persons sharing for the benefit of the whole. Please enjoy these events and build community with us!


To better Preserve, Diversify & Sustain our communities we are:

1- Preserving land for community use in heavily developing areas so as to also preserve the culture of a place  ------^* for more on this, see our Johns Island Community Ponds page *donate your support for a very useful community property ------^*

2- Creating more Public Access to Water (especially on Johns Island as WE HAVE LOST ALL PUBLIC ACCESS TO WATER) because it has now all been privately bought.  ------- { also more on this on our Johns Island Community Ponds page } -------------

3- Free Grass Roots Event Promotion for the Diverse Offerings from many cultures to the community at large. We are advocates for any Culture's Outreach to relationships and exposure to other cultures. Our differences are fun and interesting, our similarities are at the core of life. We enjoy a more whole culture through our diverse backgrounds in common play/interest.

4- Support to other Community & Cultural Centers within niches of culture. Local and traditional centers of culture are THE gemstones of our history and local life. Everything about them should be supported in what ever way they choose. We actively support and are open to furthering relationships out of respect and gratitude. We look to create a circular economy.

5- Hosting Events that channel our common interests and are examples of sustaining practices. The economy has shifted into a much larger gig economy. Meaning that more and more people make a living from gig to gig rather than 9-5. Local Pulse aims to support grassroots event sharing and is available for outreach to help host the event.

6- Stopping Gentrification through a Land Purchase that honors the life of the land holder as he lives out his days and the property becomes the Community Center. Charleston's land history has some ugly truths, from our heritage all the way to today. It is not pretty or ok. One way to heal from this, is to stop gentrifying and step up as a community to make moves together, in cooperation and mutual respect and benefit.



Local Pulse currently has several communal spaces in use for community events. But our focus now is securing our landing pad in Charleston's endangered back yard of Johns Island. 

  1. Did you know that 81% of Charleston city's growth is now living on Johns Island?
  2. Did you know that all public access to water on Johns Island (home of migrant, farming and gullah/geechee cultures) is now privately owned?

This property will become a nature preserve and community/event center that focuses on our heritage, health, families, music and nature. This land will give public access to water. This land is zoned industrial, so we are also protecting it from becoming 6,000 more condos or worse. 

This property will be a place where we focus on our cultures, our commonalities, and transforms our society out of the current socio-economic separations, by creating cross cultural exchange thru the universal languages of music and food and common interest. 

This proposal is for a 26-acre land purchase in the center of Maybank Hwy. Over half of the acreage will be dedicated for use as a nature park, which contains about 14 acres of pond encircled by a paved trail for walking, jogging, roller skating, and enjoyment of the natural beauty. The location is ideal, with great traffic accessibility and an easy walk from 3 large housing developments with thousands of residents. 

Being at the center of the Island gives availability for all to have access to a patch of nature and a clean source of water. This property is also useful because it puts us in the solution center of the Maybank Hwy Overlay Corridor, which is the space on the island intended for development and support of business offerings. We intend to offer solutions to Johns Islanders.

Charleston is the #2 wedding destination in the country, and the increasing pressure for wedding/special events venues on Johns Island threatens our rural zones constantly. This location (zoned Industrial) can offer an event center in the development corridor for rural residents to reference in these public hearings and re-zoning issues. We also go to these hearings and post videos from them through Facebook and Instagram. 

The front of the property will be a Multi Cultural Community Center, which offers nature programming, children's programming, heritage classes, music and special events, outdoor activities such as basketball, kayaking, archery, gardening, as well as food and beverage program ALL operating within sustainability.  This Center will offer the only space in the development area equipped to hold gatherings for large cultural, social, heritage, music and community based events. Outdoor theatre/drive in nights and fun for all ages are envisioned. Upstart entrepreneurs can work with us thru food and bev highlights, directors of business, and a special market geared toward the sharing of heritage items. The sky is the limit for what we can do together. Local Pulse is us creating together. What we are doing. Within the mission of Preserve. Diversify. Sustain. We attain to be a role model to growing rural communities, proving that you can have your growth and preserve a beautiful way of life too.




1) if we don't get enough $$ to secure the land, where does the money go? 
This $$ is going to this land fund. The seller is willing to work with us as long as we are able to continue making payments toward the property. So we are doing so, while also exploring further options in applying for Place-Based Impact Grants and other investment interests. If this property becomes unavailable to us, the money raised will be going to the next best available space to give Public Access to Water on Johns Island.
2) who then owns the land?
Local Pulse is an LLC that is investing in business transparency and community bc we are Johns Islanders who care about the buy out of our island by developers. The Pledge/Donation  $$ goes to Local Pulse who will then make sure the land has necessary liability insurance & growing facilities that support the community in commitment to circular economy. We are committed to keeping the community informed to our choices and why we are making them every step along the way.
3) what's to ensure that the land will be used for nature and community? 
Our legally binding contract on the land states that the intended use for the property is community and public access to water. This is the only property on Maybank Hwy that meets the need for public access in the corridor intended for traffic and development on Johns Island. Also, the back 9 acre pond and 4 acre marsh bog on site are considered within jurisdiction of the Army Corps of Engineers, protecting them generally from misuse and development, so half the property will be protected by necessity, no matter who aquires it. We will maintain proper water and community health. The front acreage will be ensured by our intent, examples, & commitment to community. All the developers on this island want their cut of the pie, but what we want, is to preserve some semblance of community and public access to land and water before it is all gone. This is one of the very few last remaining spots available to meet community needs. It is adjacent to 30 acres of woods and we have a good working relationship with the neighboring land owner also with future preservation in mind. 
4) why isn't this a non-profit?                                                                                          As we spent the first 3 months of investigating the best way to save this property for the public, we found out a lot about the 2 legal avenues of business, in the for & non-profit sectors. We also found out how densely saturated the non-profit sector is in Charleston. It is is so competitive that we were being encouraged by both Foundations and Investors to run as a for profit sustainable and transparent company that would create it's own finance and aid in the creation of more circular economy for the areas and demographics on which we are founded and serve.  The ratio of non-profits in Charleston is something like one in twelve people have a 501c3. As an LLC seeking investors for Water Access and Community/Event Center, we made considerable headway with investors and loans and continued for 9 more months thinking we were going to have 4 investors, 1 loan and a guarantor for the loan. When the guarantor/co-sign for the loan chose another project, we thought we had lost the chance with the property. Then a community member said: "well, we can't co-sign the loan for you, but we've got this far, we can try to crowd fund." And so the Kickstarter began. It did not succeed in getting a large down payment for the loan, but it did bring more attention to the project and hope of what we could do together into greater public eye. At this point, it has also brought us the opportunity to make a professional video promoting the project and a new crowd fund campaign manager to guide us in another attempt at reaching tangible goals to keep this water access property for the people. We will be launching a new crowd funding campaign this coming week April 18th. More dates coming soon and please let your community know that this opportunity is right around the corner. 











Envisioned by willis/e