Happy Friday! Has this week flown by for you, too? I feel like I blinked and another week at home has come and gone.
During this past week, the Land Trust team and Board has focused on reaching out to you—our supporters, conservation partners, and greatest champions. Have you received a call from a Land Trust staffer or a Board member? If you haven’t yet, you will in the coming weeks. We look forward to hearing how you are doing!
I’m pleased to share with you this week’s President’s Log. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you want to learn more about any of our projects or work. As always, I wish you continued good health and wellness.
President & CEO
Lowcountry Land Trust
Monday, April 20th: LLT participated in a conference call with the SC Land Trust Network Policy Committee where we discussed the South Carolina Conservation Bank and associated projects and budgets for next fiscal year. We also discussed federal policy measures, including the Great American Outdoors Act and briefed the Committee on the Land Trust Alliance Virtual Advocacy Days. (See last week’s President’s Log).
Tuesday, April 21st: LLT held its weekly Google Hangout Staff Meeting. Regular, virtual staff meetings have helped us stay connected while we are all working from home, and keep us focused on our mission. Happy to report that Team LLT is doing well and staying productive under the circumstances!
Screenshot from our Virtual Staff Meeting
Wednesday, April 22nd: To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, my children went fishing on an LLT protected property known as the Mallard Tract on the Edisto River. My 11 year old, Isabel, caught an impressive bass!
A very proud Isabel with her bass
I also recorded the below Earth Day message that we shared on our social media platforms.
Thursday, April 23: Land Trust Board member and Senior Private Banker with First National Bank, Sheldon Kramer, presented at our first Virtual Lunch & Learn. Her presentation, entitled “Leading Through Turbulence,” detailed how one can lead during times of difficulty, a very relevant and timely topic! Click here to view her presentation.
Friday, April 24th: The South Carolina Land Trust Network hosted its Spring Membership Meeting today. We had more than 40 participants from all over the state. The agenda today included an update from the Policy Committee referenced earlier, a report from the Executive Director of the SC Conservation Bank, and a briefing from the Southeast Program Manager from the Land Trust Alliance. At every quarterly meeting, each member of the Land Trust shares what they are working on. It was an impressive “round robin” including creative, virtual ways that each land trust is engaging their constituents. Additionally, each organization reported on projects that had in the pipeline, which was very inspiring. Land conservation is strong in SC!
A screenshot from the Spring Membership Meeting with the South Carolina Land Trust Network
We reported that Lowcountry Land Trust signed an option to purchase nearly 1,000 acres on the Savannah River in Jasper County. This property is a high priority for landscape-scale conservation and connectivity, as well as water quality. This $3.7M acquisition would protect 3.5 miles of the Savannah River frontage and is located directly across from the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge. This property would eventually become public land managed by SCDNR.
Landowner Assistance: If your property suffered forest damage during the April 13th storms, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) is accepting applications for landowner assistance through the Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP). The EFRP helps owners of non-industrial private forests restore forest health damaged by natural disasters. To apply, contact your local FSA office to find out about EFRP sign-up periods after a natural disaster has occurred. Click here to locate your local FSA office to learn more.
MUSC Food Donations: Susan Johnson, Director of Health Promotion and Assistant Professor of Graduate Studies in the College of Health Professions at MUSC, from our Lowcountry Land Trust Business Leadership Council, is encouraging community members to support MUSC employees and care members by donating to their food pantry. To learn more about how to make food donations to MUSC, click here.
Support Local Farmers: Local famers and purveyors need our support, now more than ever. MUSC Sustainability & Recycling created this resource, which details how to buy local food during the quarantine. Many of the farms listed here are on LLT protected properties on Edisto and Wadmalaw Islands.