April 2019
This month’s Land Trust E-newsletter
is in honor of
The April issue is chock-full of information
not only about our work but also about
why it’s important to plant native species,
how the ubiquitous moss on the island is home
to a vital member of our ecosystem,
a nod to one of the Earth’s greatest pollinators,
and much more.

We hope you enjoy this edition,
and as the sun sets on April,

Bats Love
Spanish Moss, Too!
Nature: Healthcare's Newest Medicine
Your mother might have told you not to touch Spanish moss when you were a kid because it could be home to ticks and chiggers. Another reason not to pull this ubiquitous air plant from trees is because it is often home to small birds and bats!

Northern yellow bats prefer to roost in large clumps of the hairlike moss that hangs in substantial tracts of old-growth maritime forests.
A single live oak tree
draped in Spanish moss may be home to several
year-round bats
that mostly blend in with their surroundings but are sometimes spotted just above head height.

So why is protecting their moss homes important?
For one thing, bats dine on a number of insects you might not want flying around you. Bats are also a great food source for birds of prey, reptiles and other small mammals. Keeping their roosting habitats safe will help to keep their populations healthy.

To learn more about bats in Georgia, click HERE .
A new study published in Science Daily shows that "taking at least 20 minutes out of your day to stroll or sit in a place that makes you feel in contact with nature will significantly lower your stress hormone levels."

For those who love "forest bathing" already, this might not seem like the most impressive discovery. But it is inspiring healthcare practitioners to prescribe "nature-pills" to their patients, knowing that being outdoors has a positive, measurable effect.

The St. Simons Land Trust is passionate about conserving land on this island -
for the good of its wildlife AND for the good of the humans in the community.
Take a moment (or 20) to immerse yourself in the protected portions of this beautiful place. It will leave you feeling calmer, quieter, and less stressed in our increasingly stressful world.

Read more HERE .
Get started with two minutes
of "forest therapy" HERE .
Land Trust's National Exposure
Our Daily Planet is a conservation and environmental news platform whose daily news can be read by 10,000 subscribers ranging from CEO's of corporations and ED's of nonprofits to members of Congress to those in academia and the media.

One of ODP's special offerings is a weekly feature called Bright Ideas . These opinion pieces - authored by policymakers, thought leaders, and environmental experts - highlight steps we can each take toward a more sustainable future.

A recent Bright Ideas feature, Earth Day Starts in Your Own Backyard , is from the Land Trust's Raleigh Kitchen and touches on the importance of thinking globally and acting locally and focuses on what can be done to help conserve land and resources in the places we live. It also includes the new Land Trust video produced by our 1% Partner, WANDER Media .

Check out our op-ed piece HERE.
Learn more about Our Daily Planet HERE .
Land Trust Dictionary

According to the Georgia Native Plant Society, native species "are uniquely adapted to local conditions, and have co-evolved over time with other organisms of the region."

Scott Coleman , Ecological Manager of Little St. Simons Island, states, " Native plants are the critical baseline blocks for healthy coastal ecosystems . Planting and landscaping with native plants will go a long way in helping to reverse some of the damage done by the dense development on St. Simons Island – it restores one of the most important links in our island’s natural environment.  By planting native plants, we are preserving a sense of place on St. Simons ."

Examples of native shrubs include yaupon holly, saw palmetto, and beautyberry. A few native perennials include butterfly milkweed, dune sunflower, and showy primrose.

For more information about native species, be sure to visit the website of one of our nonprofit partners, Coastal WildScapes, which works diligently to educate the public about the importance of protecting and using native plants.
The Mangroves Are Moving
Warming climates have caused numerous plant and animal species around the globe to migrate from their native homes. One of those species is the Florida mangrove .

Historically, mangrove shrubs and trees are associated with tropical south Florida. However, in the last 15 years, they have been spotted as far north as Amelia Island . The cause? Fewer freezing temperatures.

Mangroves - also known as halophytes - are adapted to live in incredibly salty and harsh coastal conditions, places where many other plant species cannot survive. But mangroves are unable to adapt to colder climes. With annual average temperatures rising, the hardy mangrove will eventually migrate into coastal regions outside of Florida's boundaries.

The movement of a species due to climate change is often viewed as a negative. Yet researchers studying this northern migration of mangroves seem to believe it might not be such a bad thing. Mangroves are the foundation of an extremely productive coastal ecosystem - a foundation that, according to some scientists, could actually benefit the new places they inhabit. Be on the lookout . . . they may be heading our way.

Learn more about the future of mangroves HERE .
One of the Earth's Greatest Pollinators
Between the
Non-native Hedges
It's not abnormal for someone to see a bee and immediately ask how to get rid of it.
Fortunately, most bees are non-stinging, native, and provide a huge service to humans
by pollinating plants and ensuring our food sources.

One of the most abundant and productive native species are
mason bees .
Although they resemble honey bees, you won't find them producing honey. Their main goal is to pollinate !
In fact, mason bees are
three times better pollinators than honey bees .

Their hairy bodies plop onto a flower, collect pollen like a dust-mop would, fly away, and do the same thing on the next flower - all while spreading pollen across gardens and lawns. This tactic allows for maximum pollination. And since pollination accounts for a third of the food we eat ,
it's certainly worth protecting our native bees. One way to do so is by providing a bee house in your landscape.

To learn more about Georgia's native bees, click HERE .
Any Georgia Bulldog fan knows the term "between the hedges." It elicits an emotion that only SEC college football can bring. Unfortunately, those hedges are comprised of a
non-native species called Chinese privet .

The Red and Black (University of Georgia's campus newspaper) published an article about the manicured privet inside the Athens, GA, Sanford Stadium,
raising an important question:
Could the privet hedges be replaced with a native species that will support Georgia's pollinators?

They sure could!
Eamonn Leonard, a biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, believes the native "dwarf yaupon holly would be a better fit"
while providing a similar look and easy-to-care-for
"habitat" for the dawgs.

What a statement that would make about a university that is home to a world-class
landscape architecture school and its College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.

Read the article HERE .
A Season's End
Many of you have followed this year's north Atlantic right whale calving season and felt the same glimmer of hope we felt every time a new calf was born. Thanks to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources , we have a recap of the season and what it means for the right whale population.

In total, seven right whale calves were born off the south Atlantic coast this year. According to the Ga DNR, while this is a major improvement over last year, when no new calves were spotted - it's not enough. Only 10-15 years ago, right whale calving seasons were producing roughly 24 new calves every year. In order for the population to simply become stable, there need to be approximately 16 calves born annually. Anything less than that and the species is not replacing itself.

With an increase in ocean temperatures, rope entanglements, and ship strikes, the right whale population has taken a major hit over the last decade. They will continue to be threatened if changes are not made quickly. We are encouraged that national decision-makers are discussing these issues and hope to make real, lasting impact for the right whale population.

Read more about this update HERE .
The Traveling "Partner of the Year" Award
Since being honored at the Golden Isles CVB Celebration in January,
the 1% for St. Simons " Partner of the Year" Award
has been on the move! It's making the rounds to all 30+ partners,
starting with Barbara Jean's Restaurant ,
where Jim and Barbara Barta founded the giving program.
Partners that are displaying the award in April are
Sandy Bottom Bagels and Ember and MAS Lounge .
Keep up with our Facebook , Instagram and Twitter accounts
to find out where the award will go next !
Thank you to ALL 1% for St. Simons business partners!
To learn more about this program and how you can participate,
please click HERE .
Have you seen our spread in the May issue of
Elegant Island Living ?

A special shout-out to our 1% partners Commonground Creative ,
Certified Burgers and Beverage ,
and Village Inn and Pub
for being a part of this wonderful piece!

Read "We Are The Village" HERE .
Support our Supporters!
Do you shop via
Amazon Smile when making your online purchases?

If you do, please consider
choosing the
St. Simons Land Trust
as the nonprofit recipient of Amazon's giving program.
Your purchases help
protect and preserve the highly diverse ecosystems left on
St. Simons Island.

Read about Amazon's
Shipment Zero initiative HERE .
We are honored to have been selected as Winn-Dixie's Glynn County 2019  nonprofit grant recipient!

check presentation  was held at our local Winn-Dixie's
Grand Re-Opening and
Ribbon-Cutting ceremony held on  Wednesday, April 24 .

Please be sure to thank the management and staff at our local Winn-Dixie store and help us support one of our generous business supporters!
Earth Month Giving
On this last day of Earth Month, consider making a special gift by purchasing one of the items on the Land Trust Giving Tree.
 These tools and equipment are from the "wish list" created by our stewardship team and are needed every day in managing and maintaining Land Trust properties.
Click HERE to purchase a
Giving Tree item today.
We are gratified by the numbers of you who have decided to add the St. Simons Land Trust as a beneficiary in your wills. As one loyal supporter told us, his estate may not be large, but it's a way he can continue to help protect the island's integrity and create a legacy of his love for St. Simons. If you want to learn more about The Legacy Society , please click HERE or call Emily Ellison at 912.638.9109.
Save the Dates
May 11 : Coastal WildScapes, Brunch & Learn Habitat Certification, Crooked River State Park, 10am-12pm. Register HERE .

May 15 : Land Trust staff moving into 1810 Frederica Road. Open House details coming soon.

May 16 : The State of Our Coast: A 2019 Legislative Update Lecture with Megan Desrosiers, Alice Keyes, & Alex Muir, One Hundred Miles. OHM Brunswick Office, 7pm. Register HERE .

May 23 : Netflix Phil Rosenthal Dinner benefiting American Cancer Society. 1% for St. Simons partner Del Sur and Little Raccoon Key. Del Sur Artisan Eats on St. Simons Island, 6pm. Click HERE for more information and to RSVP.

May 25 & 26 - Cannon's Point Preserve OPEN for Memorial Day Weekend

May 27 - Cannon's Point Preserve CLOSED on Memorial Day

January 18, 2020 : 20th Annual Oyster Roast