The Ebb & Flow BLOG

Reflecting on Lowcountry Land Trust’s Legacy Luncheon

Last month, on a beautiful autumn day, Lowcountry Land Trust reunited its and East Cooper Land Trust’s current and former trustees for a luncheon at Gigi and Mike McShane’s picturesque property, Ravens Point, on Johns Island. The event was a touching tribute to the organization’s successful history and the dedicated Board trustees who have made its legacy of conservation efforts possible.

As guests arrived, they were greeted by a table set with name cards in memory of 22 deceased trustees. Surrounding a beautiful centerpiece of local grasses and oakleaf hydrangea blooms created by host Gigi McShane, these name cards served as a reminder of the profound impact these individuals had on Lowcountry Land Trust. Large bur oak acorns adorned the table, honoring the founding board members and their unwavering commitment to preserving the region for generations.

Among those honored was Sam Carlton, a visionary leader and forester who played a pivotal role in shaping Lowcountry Land Trust’s trajectory. In his memory, the McShanes had a plaque made dedicating woods on their property to Sam, a testament to the enduring legacy he left behind.

Each guest received a small bag of acorns collected from neighboring protected properties. Mike McShane, who meticulously gathered the acorns by hand, encouraged guests to take them home and plant them, fostering a connection to those who have gone before us, planting seeds of conservation so that its spirit might take root, even while knowing they would never see its shade themselves. 

Left to right: Debby Wallace (Sam Carlton’s sister), Mike McShane, Gigi McShane, and Elizabeth Carlton (Sam Carlton’s wife)

Mike McShane, Past Board Chair, and Ashley Demosthenes, Lowcountry Land Trust’s President & CEO, delivered insightful remarks behind a podium crafted from a wooden duck box. Their words underscored the organization’s unwavering commitment to conserving the Lowcountry’s landscapes and waterways, ensuring their vitality for future generations.

The two also took the opportunity to reflect on the organization’s humble beginnings, referencing Bill Alge and Alge Island, the catalyst for Lowcountry Land Trust’s formation. Their words highlighted the transformative power of individual dedication and the collective impact of conservation efforts.

Graceful rosemary trees embellished with longleaf pine cones served as centerpieces on the dining tables, adding a touch of elegance and reflecting the native plants of the Lowcountry. Meanwhile, a display board showcasing former and current trustees stood as a testament to the collective strength and dedication of those who have guided Lowcountry Land Trust since 1986.

Guests savored a delightful southern-style meal, their conversations punctuated by the cheerful melodies of the Bluestone Ramblers. The idyllic setting and camaraderie among fellow conservationists created an atmosphere of appreciation and a renewed commitment to safeguarding the Lowcountry’s natural treasures.