A lifelong outdoorsman, Lowcountry Land Trust Trustee, and Longleaf Society donor Bob Perry began his career in conservation in 1978. Working at South Carolina’s Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) for 39 years, his tenure includes innovating partnership-based environmental mitigation projects and habitat and restoration strategies of statewide significance.
In the late 1980s, when SCDNR deployed habitat protection initiatives around the state, Lowcountry Land Trust became a loyal partner of the Winyah Bay Focus Area, collaborating with Mr. Perry and others on a regular basis to protect wetlands and adjacent uplands and to help establish a new National Wildlife Refuge. The effort protected tens of thousands of acres by working with private landowners who committed to voluntary conservation easements on their property. Mr. Perry recalls, “I developed lasting friendships and collegial working relationships with Lowcountry Land Trust staff; those connections are incredibly important to me, my work, and my goals to protect as much of the Lowcountry as we possibly can!”
Mr. Perry notes that the mission of Lowcountry Land Trust, to protect land and water forever, embodies his own mission in life as it has evolved over his career. He enjoys serving on the organization’s Board of Trustees because, from his perspective, the most effective way to protect South Carolina’s natural landscapes and ecological resources for future generations is to conserve habitats in perpetuity, which is what Lowcountry Land Trust does on a daily basis.
In addition to his board service to Lowcountry Land Trust, Mr. Perry and his wife Patty are members of the organization’s Longleaf Society for generous donors who give $2,500 or more during a calendar year. Benefits include early access to event registration, exclusive nature outings, and the latest updates on local conservation wins. Mr. Perry shares that he loves talking to other community members about this giving level, remarking, “If you love the Lowcountry, there is nothing more important you can do than give to an organization that values its donors, uses its funds wisely, and conserves habitats and water quality at a regional level.” The Perry family finds gratification in giving to Lowcountry Land Trust at this level and hopes others see the impact Longleaf Society members have on the organization.
Lowcountry Land Trust’s mission has never been more relevant than it is today. Accelerated growth has impacted our landscapes and, by extension, our quality of life. It is exciting to see the positive economic opportunities this generates for our cities and communities. Still, we must balance this trend with protecting the land that is foundational to the health of our coastal ecosystems. Longleaf Society gifts to Lowcountry Land Trust enable work intimately connected with the region’s cultural history and natural landscapes. Mr. Perry asks readers to “Step outside anywhere in the Lowcountry – take a ride, cruise the waterways, hunt, fish, hike, birdwatch or engage in any of your favorite outdoor pastimes. You will quickly feel a part of something that is magical yet threatened to fade away.” By protecting these unique places forever through Lowcountry Land Trust’s conservation easements and owned properties, residents’ quality of life can benefit from the area’s special places for generations to come.
Now, between working for a small green engineering firm known as Water & Land Solutions and engaging with Lowcountry Land Trust in various ways, Mr. Perry finds value in providing his time, talent, and treasure to protect South Carolina’s land and water quality in perpetuity.