If we are to leave this world better than we found it, for the ones who come after us, then we must do better than the ones who came before us. This is a lesson many of us know, and a lesson that is instilled in the fabric of our work at Lowcountry Land Trust. I was taught this by my grandfather.
If you have spent any time with me in the woods or on the water, or just in general really, you surely have heard me talk about my grandfather. A dedicated outdoorsman and award-winning conservationist, “Doc” as his grandchildren called him, was a well-known and respected veterinarian in Montgomery, Alabama. He enjoyed nothing more than sharing his love for nature and the outdoors with others, especially his grandchildren. The days spent hanging out with Doc on “The Farm”—cane pole fishing on the pond or helping him work the bird dogs during a quail hunt—remain some of my fondest childhood memories. The story of his win in the 1963 National Shooting Dog Championship at Union Springs, AL with his pointer, War Eagle, remains stuff of legend in my household, or at least in my mind it does. Simply put, Doc was, and still is, my hero.
As I have embarked on a career in conservation, my reverence for Doc has only grown stronger. His work with the Alabama Wildlife Federation and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources continue to serve as inspiration to me. His 2003 President’s Award from AWF sits on my desk to this day and remains one of my most prized possessions.
Nature was Doc’s classroom, and as I traverse the Lowcountry, I am constantly reminded of the lessons he taught me. But what has become clear is that if I am to live by his lesson to do better than even he did, I must look at his shortcomings as well as his successes.
Like so many of his generation, Doc did not speak out against the racial inequities that plagued our country then and persist to this day. As the Civil Rights Movement took place right outside his door, Doc did nothing. As he put it, “it was just something we didn’t talk about.” It is difficult viewing my grandfather, my hero, in this light, but this is not a condemnation of him. While he may have lacked the boldness and courage to speak up then, he made sure to instill that boldness and courage in me.
So, friends, please hear me when I say, racial equity can no longer be something we don’t talk about—including within our field of land conservation. We must talk about, and furthermore, we must do something about the racial injustices, implicit bias and systematic racism that exist in our society today. If we are to truly honor those who came before us, we must be bold; we must be courageous; and we must do better, for all the people of this world and for those still to come.
Lowcountry Land Trust
In loving memory of Dr. Louis Charles “Bud” Cardinal, Jr.
Monday, August 24th: Josh Bell, South Coast Project Manager, met with two separate landowners to discuss the possibility of protecting three significant tracts with donated conservation easements later this year. One property is located in the South Lowcountry and two are located in the ACE Basin. More to come on these projects.
Tuesday, August 25th: The LLT Finance Committee met to discuss July actuals and FY21 projections. We’re pleased to report that LLT is in good financial standing after the first month of the new fiscal year, with an 18% increase above July contributions from 2019.
Wednesday, August 26th: Many staff members attended the Together SC webinar, “Talking Together with Nonprofit Leaders: Creating an Equity Statement,” featuring guest speaker, Jessica Sharp, Founder & CEO of Sharp Brain Consulting. Attendees learned why an equity message is important and what should be included when developing a statement, as well as implementation steps to take in conjunction with an equity message. We look forward to sharing more information on the steps LLT is taking soon
Thursday, August 27th: Ashton Lamb, North Coast Project Manager, spoke to new Conservation Leadership Through Learning (CLTL) Masters students at Colorado State University. Ashton graduated from the CLTL program in 2016 and was thrilled to share about his current role with Lowcountry Land Trust and how the program prepared him for work in the conservation field.
Friday, August 28th: Sam Seawell, Stewardship Associate, helped a landowner begin the process of getting a Forest Management Plan prepared through the USDA’s NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Programs. If you’re interested in learning more about these opportunities, contact Sam at firstname.lastname@example.org.
$10 Million to Support Racial Equity and Social Justice Nonprofits and Programs: LLT Business Leadership Council member, Boeing, announced more than $10 million in investments to support nonprofits working to advance racial equity and social justice reform in the U.S. In the last five years, Boeing has invested more than $15 million to nonprofits focused on racial equity across the South. Two South Carolina organizations have been highlighted as recipients: International African American Museum and Turning Leaf Project. Read the full release here.
Operation Clean Sweep: Norfolk Southern, LLT Business Leadership Council member, is the most recent Class I railroad in the US to voluntarily sign the Operation Clean Sweep Pledge, an international program developed by the American Chemistry Council and the Plastics Industry Association that provides guidance for companies to prevent the release of micro plastics into marine ecosystems. As a key partner in the plastic supply chain, Norfolk Southern is committed to looking for ways to minimize their impact on the environment. Read the full release here.
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.
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.