The Ebb & Flow BLOG

President’s Log: May 1, 2020

Dear Friends,

Happy May Day! On this gorgeous first day of May, I’m delighted to be able to share a special announcement with you. Thanks to the generosity of the Pathfinder Foundation, every gift donated to Lowcountry Land Trust in the month of May will be doubled—up to $25,000!

That’s $50,000 to preserve special landscapes that provide our much-needed places to get outside, exercise, and experience fresh air and sunshine with our families both in these turbulent times and into the future. If your family is anything like mine, what has kept us going throughout this pandemic has been the ability to go outdoors. Much like the land that we have protected over the past 30 years sustains us today, the land that we conserve today will nourish our souls tomorrow.

If you are in a position to contribute financially this year, please give whatever you are able during the month of May. We can’t do it without you. This funding is vital to keep our land protection work going, and to ensure that you and your families, like mine, can always take refuge in green spaces, no matter the circumstances.


Ashley Demosthenes
President & CEO
Lowcountry Land Trust

PS: I hope you’ll also consider joining our first Spring Picnic in YOUR Backyard! Our annual spring picnic would have taken place this weekend. Since we can’t all gather in person this spring, we encourage you to take time to picnic with your own loved ones and share your photos with us.

Watch my May Giving Announcement here!

Monday, April 27th: Staff participated in a Zoom call with our partners at the Johns Island Task Force (a broad consortium of sea island stakeholders), Coastal Conservation League, Center for Heirs Property Preservation, and Open Space Institute, to discuss implementation of the Johns Island Community Conservation Initiative. What is the JICCI, you ask? Here is a link to the abridged report, a study completed earlier this year in partnership with the Center for Heirs Property Preservation and NC State University.

Tuesday, April 28th: Tuesdays are Google Hangout Staff Meeting days! The theme of today’s staff meeting was “Keep the Faith,” which inspired a viral (no pun intended) exchange related to Bon Jovi. You’re welcome.  🙂

Wednesday, April 29th: Staff attended a Technical Advisory Committee meeting associated with an initiative known as Palmetto Green (PG). PG is a comprehensive statewide analysis and mapping effort to bring business and conservation together. We just launched our initial maps/datasets looking at wetland and riparian preservation and restoration: South Carolina WRR. This is a culmination of more than a year of work that included Federal and State agencies, conservation nonprofits, energy, transportation, manufacturing, and other sectors. 

Thursday, April 30th: The Stewardship team made calls to landowners, communicating with some about timber salvage and grant money available for clean-up after the tornado last month.  

The Conservation team made advancements on a 380-acre wetlands mitigation project in Dorchester County in partnership with the SC State Ports Authority and Open Space Institute.

Josh Bell, South Coast Project Manager, began work on the Baseline Documentation Report for Willow Lake, a 1,400-acre conservation easement property on the Edisto River, a project projected to close this summer.  

Friday, May 1st:  Staff began preparing summer grant applications to the SC Conservation Bank, due in July.  

Sam Seawell, Stewardship Associate, completed the National Wildfire Coordinating Group S-190 course: Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior. This is the first of two courses required to receive a red card, which is required by The Nature Conservancy and other organizations to participate in their controlled burns.

Ongoing: Webinars, webinars, webinars oh my! The Operations Team is absorbing as much information as possible about how to lead and be great people managers in a time of great uncertainty. Accordingly, the team is developing a business continuity plan for the next several months.  

Ongoing: Planning for Fiscal Year 2021 (starting July 1st) is ongoing both in terms of strategic goal setting and budgeting. 

Other News

Parks Reopening: As of May 1, many SC State Parks, Charleston County Parks, and Charleston City Parks are reopening, on a limited basis. Be sure to review each site to learn how visitor usage will be adjusted due to social distancing guidelines.

From the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA): How to Use Physical Distancing in Public Parks and Trails

Easy Listening: Are you looking for new podcasts to dive into? Check out The Outdoor Revival, a new podcast produced by a group of outdoor industry professionals with one goal – to help anyone and everyone who loves the outdoors better understand how they can safely and responsibly recreate during the COVID-19 pandemic.