The Ebb & Flow BLOG

President’s Log: August 25, 2020

Dear Friends,

I hope you all are finding creative ways to beat the heat this summer! With so many indoor activities closed or limited, I am grateful to have the diversity of outdoor spaces we have available in the Lowcountry. I am taking advantage of beaches, rivers, lakes, ponds, forests, county parks, urban parks, and neighborhood trails for respite from the summer doldrums.

When visiting my two grandsons, ages 5 and 3, in a suburb of Atlanta, getting outdoors is at the top of the activity list. Our favorite place is a trail through the woods on the edge of their neighborhood. It is a surprising gem in the midst of the suburbs, and the time spent there can make us forget that development is so nearby. The boys will spend hours throwing rocks into the stream, building their own rock bridge, or floating sticks downstream. The tree canopy and cool water are a welcome relief from the heat and there are often tears when we have to leave… mine and theirs!

I appreciate the foresight and planning for the community conservation initiative which resulted in this magical place. The Land Trust Alliance defines community conservation as “an approach to land conservation that includes more people… Community conservation uses the strengths of the land trust to meet needs expressed by people in the community.” If it wasn’t for this miniature forest, it would be a half-day project, including a long car ride, for the residents of this community to visit a natural space. Although we have many more opportunities to access the natural environment in the Lowcountry, in the last 20 years I have witnessed an incredible amount of development, which has dramatically changed the Lowcountry landscape.

I am grateful for Lowcountry Land Trust and it’s supporters, as well as the many groups LLT partners with, for their diligence to protect land and water in the Lowcountry. Thanks to collaborative planning and emerging initiatives to provide public green space that is available and accessible for all, there is much to look forward to and be thankful for. Thank you for all that you do to keep the Lowcountry landscapes healthy and beautiful, for generations to come.

Best regards,

Ellen Blake
Executive Assistant & Board Liaison
Lowcountry Land Trust

Monday, August 17th: Sam Seawell, Stewardship Associate, monitored six conservation easements in the Santee River Basin near Awendaw and McClellanville.

Alison Cercy, Conservation Coordinator, monitored properties in Jackson and Estill.

Tuesday, August 18th: Ashton participated in a webinar called “Understanding the Story Your Appraisal Tells,” hosted by the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association. The webinar discussed the importance of various sections of an appraisal report for land protection professionals.

Wednesday, August 19th: Nathan Moyer, Senior Stewardship Program Manager, monitored four conservation easements along the Combahee River in the ACE Basin. It was a great day in the field—not too hot, beautiful properties, and a chance to interact, from a distance, with several landowners.

View from the porch of a protected property on the Combahee River.

Thursday, August 20th: Maggie Kalergis, Donor Relations Manager, attended the Together SC webinar, “Moving from Symbolic Change to Systemic Change in Charleston,” where presenters reexamined the recommendations from the State of Racial Disparities in Charleston County, 2000-2015 report within the context of the current racial climate. The report was published in 2017 by the College of Charleston’s Avery Institute of Afro-American History and Culture.

Friday, August 21st: Sam Seawell, Stewardship Associate, organized a virtual meeting with the LLT Conservation team and Dr. Marcoux and Professor Ford, who will be leading the graduate research course on surveying Hyde Park’s two cemeteries. During the meeting, Professor Ford walked the team through her course syllabus and the research that will take place. Dr. Marcoux shared news on the upcoming 2021 Keeping History Above Water: Charleston Communities in Action conference, which will take place on March 14-16, 2021. More to come on both of these projects.


Time to Celebrate: We’re pleased to announce that Megan Ramsey, Chief Financial Officer, has been recognized in this year’s class of “Forty Under 40” recipients by the Charleston Regional Business Journal. This award is given to professionals under the age of 40 who have excelled and are making their mark in the Charleston-regional community. The 2020 class of honorees will be recognized during a virtual event on Wednesday, August 26 from 12:00 – 1:30 PM. Join us in celebrating Megan by purchasing a ticket to the virtual event. Proceeds will be donated to the Lowcountry Food Bank.

The Sustainable Angler: 2020 Flourish speakers, Rick Crawford and Albert George, caught up in a recent The Sustainable Angler podcast. Rick Crawford is the founder and President of Emerger Strategies, a Charleston-based sustainable business consultancy group. Albert George is the Director of Conservation at the South Carolina Aquarium and also serves on the LLT Board.

What’s at stake for South Carolina farmland? Ashton Lamb, North Coast Project Manager, shares what he’s learned from the American Farmland Trust’s recent release of their “Farms Under Threat: The State of the States” data.

We’re Hiring: Lowcountry Land Trust seeks an experienced self-driven philanthropy professional with a passion for nonprofit excellence. The Chief Advancement Officer works closely with the President & CEO and Board of Trustees to chart the strategic direction of the Advancement department and advancement initiatives. Learn more about this opportunity and apply here.

[As we enter the long, hot days of summer, the President’s Log will feature a series of rotating guest writers, including LLT staff and board, as well as friends of Lowcountry Land Trust]