The Ebb & Flow BLOG

President’s Log: June 2, 2020

Dear Friends,

At Lowcountry Land Trust, we believe in the care and keeping of the place we call home. We believe in careful stewardship of our land, water, culture, wildlife, history, and community. Our mission is to protect Lowcountry lands and waters for their many values—for all people—forever.

I am saddened, devastated, and outraged at the careless and senseless destruction of black lives. I cannot begin to understand the hurt, pain, and anger of those who fear for their existence every day in this country simply because of the color of their skin. We must try to understand, though. We must learn and listen. We must do better. I commit to that.

We at Lowcountry Land Trust deeply value relationships with our fellow community members. We respect our brothers and sisters of color and the centuries of labor, care, and stewardship, the literal blood, sweat, and tears, that they have put into the Lowcountry’s landscapes. Land in the Lowcountry—land that has been protected in perpetuity already and land that should be—has dense, complicated stories to tell if we listen. Stories of every human emotion and experience—heartache, pain, exploration, innovation, struggle, brutality, anger, joy, wonder, love—are grounded in our soil, fields, and forests and flow through our creeks and rivers.

We at Lowcountry Land Trust are imperfect. We are learning how to be a better community partner. We are examining how we can be part of the solution to heal our region, our nation’s brokenness.

Many of you may ask what role a land trust can play in this process. Does Lowcountry Land Trust have a solution? No. We do not. Can we be part of the solution? Yes, we can. We have partners and fellow nonprofits who are doing important work in addressing equity and inclusion, serving historically underserved landowners, providing a more inclusive historical narrative, and creating greater access to opportunity for all, like Together SCThe Center for Heirs Property PreservationThe Slave Dwelling Project, and Coastal Community Foundation. We learn from and listen to them and engage with them in this work.

We also have a framework for a beginning. A framework for listening and learning in the arena of land conservation: community conservation. We are still in the process of creating our next strategic plan, but Lowcountry Land Trust trustees and staff members early on last year identified community conservation as an important part of our future. Community conservation looks a little different in every community and every geography, but one of its core tenets is that the work responds to the needs of the community. First, listen; then, respond. Lowcountry Land Trust is committed to this process.

We hope you will join with us in it.

Sincerely,

Ashley Demosthenes
President & CEO
Lowcountry Land Trust

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