Oldfield is one of just eight communities in the United States to be named a certified sustainable community through Audubon International, a nonprofit environmental organization with a mission to provide programs and advice to golf courses and communities about how to reduce their impact on nature through education, technical assistance, certification and recognition. The private club’s location on the banks of the sweeping Okatie River and in the heart of the Lowcountry puts nature at the epicenter of life within the community, and it provides for unique experiences and discoveries daily. Here are a few amenities, certifications and team members that help make Oldfield such a natural paradise.
The Outfitters Center is part lodge, part educational center, part social hub for Oldfield members, and 100 percent Lowcountry in its aesthetics. It sits on the banks of the Okatie River and complements the natural beauty of the salt marsh and maritime forest that surround it. It was designed to be historically accurate for a river house that might have been built in this area in the early half of the 1900s. In the back is a large open-air pavilion with a grand fireplace, perfect for relaxing and taking in the river views after a day on the water. There is also an oyster roast area overlooking the river for private and community functions.
There are two full-time fishing guides at the Outfitters Center — Capt. Jeremy Webb and Capt. Jason Dubose. Guides present their party a variety of fishing options. Once they’ve come up with the best gameplan, guides decide where the group is going to fish, based on the weather conditions and tides. Guides also ensure their tackle and boat are in top-notch shape, and provide coaching and tips that help their party’s angling skills. Each year, Dubose hosts a fishing excursion for Oldfield members and their guests to the famed El Pescador Lodge on Ambergris Caye, Belize.
The Nature Center within the Outfitters Center offers an opportunity for a truly hands-on nature experience. Complete with saltwater and freshwater aquariums, visitors can interact, hold and feed some of the center’s residents, including a variety of snakes and turtles. Throughout the year, the Nature Center offers nature knowledge classes for children. Class topics range from reptiles and amphibians to insects. The biggest draws for the children and grandchildren of Oldfield residents are the outfitters summer camps, with dolphin cruises, kayaking, marksmanship and fishing. For adults and families, the center offers sunrise and sunset guided paddles, nature walks, off-site field trips, nature lectures and eco-river cruises. Staff naturalist Jill Kombrink also takes a group to Costa Rica every other year.
Jason Dubose, Outfitters Center Director/River Pro
On his duties: “The river portion of my job involves all aspects of helping Oldfield’s membership get enjoyment from, and an understanding of, our local waters. This includes everything from running inshore, nearshore, and offshore fishing charters, to teaching a child how to throw a cast net to catch shrimp off the dock, to conducting nature- and history-based boat excursions to help our members gain an understanding and appreciation of this unique region.”
Jill Kombrink Staff Naturalist
On her duties: “Running the Nature Center is a primary part of my job, whether it’s showing people around or doing critter care and tank maintenance. As the naturalist, I am available to our residents as a resource for wildlife questions and also provide programs for educating them on our local flora and fauna. Another fun part of my job is the guided kayak trips, paddle boarding and off-site trips around the Lowcountry. More behind the scenes roles that I play are the upkeep of several pollinator gardens across the community and the staff point of contact for the community garden and bee hives. Overseeing the stormwater ponds and managing our best management practices for landscaping and grounds and maintaining our Audubon certifications is also an important behind-the-scenes role.”