The Ebb & Flow BLOG

President’s Log: September 15, 2020

Dear Friends,

This week, I’d like to turn the tables on you. Instead of me telling you what I’m thinking about, I want to ask you to share with me. A simple reply to this email will do. Specifically, I’d like to hear your thoughts on:

  • How does (or could) LLT’s work truly inspire you?
  • How does (or could) LLT have a very high positive impact on land and water?
  • How does (or could) LLT have a very high positive impact on people? 

Think inside the box, or outside the box. Reflect on the past, or project into the future. Share whatever it is that’s coming straight from your head or your heart.

Over more than three decades, LLT has protected many kinds of conservation values, on many thousands of acres (nearly 150,000!), through many types of real estate transactions and land management actions, and with many different kinds of funding mechanisms. We started by buying an island in the Ashley River. We went on to do 335 conservation easements (and counting) on private land. And now we do complex multi-stage deals that involve buying, protecting, and selling land, or innovative funding mechanisms that result in new places for public access. We are proud of what we have accomplished, and we will press on with the tried and true.

But, can sticking to the tried and true alone meet the challenges of today and tomorrow? In recent times, conservationists have come to realize that in nature, there is no perfect constant state. Instead, nature is, as Kevin Kelly described it in his book, Out of Control, “a dynamic web, always in flux, and always in the process of reshaping itself.” Taking our cue from nature, and the interconnected social web of which LLT is a part, we are determined to be a dynamic institution. That means “both/and” thinking. Keeping at proven paths that still work, while forging new ones that meet the challenges and opportunities of the future.

So, with that in mind–let us hear from you! As we chart our path forward, we want to know what in our work inspires you, and what you think has the most impact on land, water and people. Thanks for sharing what matters to you!

With warm regards,

David Ray
Chief Conservation Officer
Lowcountry Land Trust

Monday, September 7th: The LLT office was closed in observance of Labor Day and the staff recharged over the long weekend. We hope you had a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

Tuesday, September 8th: Bruce Binney, Mid Coast Project Manager, recorded the deed for a property that has been donated to LLT on Johns Island. The land donation was unrestricted and not specified for conservation purposes, but rather supports LLT’s wider organizational needs. Nonetheless, in the coming year LLT will be exploring whether the property can meet a range of goals. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 9th: Nathan Moyer, Senior Stewardship Program Manager, stewarded a property along the East Branch of the Cooper River, where he came across a bright green spider during his monitoring visit. We think it could be a green lynx spider, Peucetia viridans. What do you think?

Thursday, September 10th: LLT submitted comments to the Highway 41 project team stating our rationale for not routing the primary improvements through the Phillips Settlement Community. Read our letter here.

Friday, September 11th: Ellen Blake, Executive Assistant and Board Liaison, coordinated Board and staff registrations for Land Trust Alliance Rally. Six LLT Board members met a challenge to register early for Rally, which allowed staff to take advantage of early-bird pricing, a scholarship grant from the Land Trust Alliance through the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, and an anonymous donation. Through this coordination and the generosity of supporters, all LLT staff will attend this year’s Rally at no cost.


Partner Update: Earlier this year, Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation funded nine grants to local community members through the Gullah Geechee Preservation Project. Check out their video to learn more about the projects and grant recipients.

Edisto Island Watershed Plan: Help Edisto Island Open Land Trust, Clemson Extension, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, and the Edisto community create a watershed plan to address pollution in Store Creek, the South Edisto River-Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, and the Dawho River-North Edisto River. Complete this 10 minute survey to help inform the watershed plan.

[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]