It was a Wednesday evening in the summer of 2012, sitting alongside the Ledenwah River, that Telfair Parker first spoke on camera about what was then a purely conceptual idea.
Elizabeth Brown, Director of Education and Community Relations, was filming him for a short film called the “Soul of the Lowcountry.” Rooted in the power of narrative, Brown’s idea was to capture the stories of individuals whose identity was largely defined by their connection to the land. Interestingly, it was also the first attempt to articulate the values of conservation and the Land Trust on a personal level.
When the short film premiered at the 2013 Annual Meeting, one takeaway was evident: a land ethic must be cultivated in the greater community. “Soul of the Lowcountry,” which presented itself as a theme around which to start a conversation, had tapped into a purpose and, perhaps most importantly, an energy and passion that has kept it alive for the past three years and that has brought it into the present day.
A summer brainstorming session, months of meetings at Salty Mike’s and two years later, the Soul of the Lowcountry is finally coming into its own. Telfair Parker now serves as the Chairman of the Soul of the Lowcountry Advisory Committee, a group of nine individuals who have worked tirelessly over the past nine months to create a program that expresses the values of the Land Trust through educational programming.
With five pilot programming events under their belt, over 115 new Soul of the Lowcountry participants and plans underway for the remainder of 2016 and 2017, the Advisory Committee is off to an impressive start in bringing the Soul of the Lowcountry to life.