The Ebb & Flow

President’s Log: July 7, 2020

Dear Friends,

I hope you and your families had an amazing Fourth of July weekend! With Lowcountry Land Trust offices (and home offices) closed on Friday, my family tried to beat the heat by heading out to Folly Beach. We spent our morning surfing, boogie boarding, sandcastle building, shell collecting, and shark tooth hunting. We didn’t find any megalodon teeth this time but we always keep our eyes peeled!

On days like this I’m extremely grateful to live in the Lowcountry. Growing up in a suburb of Washington, DC, my access to the types of green and blue spaces we’re accustomed to in the Lowcountry was limited. In retrospect, I must have been searching subconsciously for more greens and blues in my life. I spent my college years in Charlottesville, VA, with easy access to incredible hikes in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and now finally find myself settled in Charleston and working for Lowcountry Land Trust. I have fully immersed myself in this special place that we call home, both personally and professionally.

As you know, we at Lowcountry Land Trust are dedicated to our mission of protecting land and water forever. We strive to preserve the greens and blues of the Lowcountry for everyone and nurture the inextricable relationship between people and place. This does not change, even during a pandemic. Perhaps especially during a pandemic.

Since the COVID-19 crisis hit here in March, our awareness of just how necessary these special places in nature are for mental and physical wellbeing has increased exponentially. If you’re like me and have a child at home, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If my daughter doesn’t get outside to play or ride her bike, we’ll all pay for it later. Author Richard Louv defines the concept of “nature-deficit disorder” as our increasing disconnect from the natural world. The gradual process of urbanization and technological advances has led more and more of us to live our lives indoors, and the unforeseen behavioral, psychological, and physiological consequences of this disconnect are clear: attention difficulties, rise of obesity rates, and higher rates of emotional and physical illnesses.

I’m a serial optimist and always look for the bright spots, even amongst the darkest of times. Am I wrong in thinking that an unexpected side-effect of this terrible pandemic is a return to the natural world? A forced downshift to stop, take a breath, take it in, and appreciate the beauty and majesty around us. As we move into a new phase of life this summer, I plan to keep Mother Nature at the top of my list as I continue to parent, work, and abide.

At no other point in our lives is the urgency and necessity of our work more apparent than now. Thank you—the champions of Lowcountry Land Trust—for showing up in a time of great need. I am humbled by your ongoing support and dedication to keeping Lowcountry land and water protected and flourishing.

With gratitude,

Maggie Kalergis
Corporate Partnerships & Special Events Manager
Lowcountry Land Trust

Monday, June 29th: Staff attended the “Celebrating the Great Outdoors in the Lowcountry” webinar, hosted by Conservation Voters of South Carolina and the South Carolina Aquarium. The discussion focused on celebrating the Lowcountry’s great outdoors and learning what we can do to protect and enhance them. Panelists included Congressman Joe Cunningham and local stakeholders who rely on the outdoors and recreation for their livelihoods. Watch the full webinar here.

Tuesday, June 30th: Ashton Lamb, North Coast Project Manager, discussed north coast land protection opportunities and forestry mitigation with a north coast ambassador. Are you interested in helping the Land Trust in the north coast by identifying properties to protect and connecting us to prospective landowners? Reach out to Ashton at alamb@lowcountrylandtrust.org to discuss further.

During the month of June, Stewardship and Conservation staff monitored over 75 protected properties in the state!

Sunset on Wadmalaw Island. Photo by Thomas Moorer.

Wednesday, July 1st: We are proud to display that LLT has taken the One Region Pledge. By signing the pledge, we commit to the well-being and safety of our employees, board members, constituents, and entire community. We are One Region Ready.

Check out the purple One Region Pledge sticker on our office front door.

Thursday, July 2nd: Bruce Binney, Mid Coast Project Manager, got out in the field in the Ashley River Corridor to perform annual stewardship visits. He also met with a prospective conservation easement donor.

Friday, July 3rd: In observance of the Fourth of July, the Lowcountry Land Trust office was closed and staff started their weekends early. We hope you and your families enjoyed the holiday weekend!

OTHER NEWS

Broken Ground: Are you looking for a new podcast to binge? The latest season of Broken Ground, produced by the Southern Environmental Law Center, explores how Southerners living along the coast are navigating sea level rise. This season focuses on sharing stories from Charleston, SC and Norfolk, VA.

“Liberty Bell”: The Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation recently announced their host partnership of the augmented reality public art project by Nancy Baker Cahill, “Liberty Bell”. The “Liberty Bell” will be on display beginning  July 4th, over Charleston Harbor, viewed from the Battery near White Point Garden, facing Fort Sumter. Charleston is one of six cities in the country chosen to participate in the project. Learn more about “Liberty Bell” on the Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation’s website.

[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]

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