Dear Friends,

Although winter has not completely left us, those first welcome signs of spring are bursting forth everywhere, like these red maple buds photographed a couple of weeks ago by our staff member Raleigh Kitchen. And although this year we are celebrating the Land Trust's 20th Anniversary by highlighting many of the properties this community has helped to preserve over the past two decades, and a few of the countless people who have made land conservation on St. Simons possible, this is not a year when we are only reflecting on the past. Rather, it's a season of renewal, optimism, and growth , a time to look ahead and plan for the next twenty years and beyond.

We look forward to bringing together people and organizations this year who will partner with us on developing priorities for the future. While it is certainly a year to show gratitude for those on whose shoulders we stand, it is also the perfect year to thoughtfully build on the past and ensure that the beauty of St. Simons is here for those who come after us. As spring always is, it's a thrilling time to be alive and well and to be part of something larger than ourselves. It's the perfect season to be joyful about this extraordinary coastal community that so many of us gratefully call home.

Emily Ellison
SSLT Executive Director
Invasive Species Awareness
Living among coastal Georgia's ecosystems are a variety of native plant species that wildlife rely on for survival. Unfortunately, there are also a number of invasive plants that, if left unattended, can wreak havoc on those important areas. An invasive species is one that is not native to a location and that tends to spread and cause damage to the environment. National Invasive Species Awareness Week , which occurred between February 24-28, is celebrated each year to raise awareness about invasive plants in our area, educate about their removal processes, and share viable alternatives to enhance the landscape.

At Cannon's Point Preserve, our partners with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Coastal Georgia Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA) have treated or removed invasive species like lantana, Chinese privet, and tree of heaven in keeping with the property's careful management plan. An equally important part of managing CPP is the continued maritime forest restoration research occurring in different areas of the Preserve. This includes planting native live oak seedlings in areas where loblolly pine trees were removed due to southern pine beetle infestations. According to a recent study , preserving and restoring forests can also help against storm surge and flooding. And when living on a barrier island, fighting floods is imperative!

Largeleaf Lantana by Jee & Rani Nature Photography
Georgia Arbor Day
at 1810
Thank You, Golden Isles Track Club!
The first Georgia Arbor Day was announced by the Georgia General Assembly in December, 1890. In 1941, the General Assembly set the  third Friday in February as the day of our state Arbor Day.

While National Arbor Day is the third Friday in April, it is too warm at that time of the year to  plant trees in Georgia. Ideally, trees should be planted between November and mid-March so they can become established before the heat of the summer begins.

This year, our staff planted seven redbud trees around the Land Trust office at 1810 Frederica. It will take several years for these young, bare-root trees to produce the stunning, pink flowers we know and love. But it will be worth the wait!
Land Trust properties like Cannon's Point Preserve and Guale Preserve offer miles of hiking, biking, and running trails that promote a healthy lifestyle. Organizations like the Golden Isles Track Club work to do the same.

The GITC is a local non-profit organization created to promote
fun in fitness. Its members are dedicated to the philosophy that exercise is not a chore but can bring lifetime enjoyment and lifelong benefits to everyone.

We are proud to partner with GITC and are grateful for its contributions to the Land Trust over the last decade, including a 2020 Live Oak membership presented recently by several of its members to our staff.
1% for St. Simons
When shopping local, you have a chance to help save historically and ecologically valuable land. By supporting the 1% for St. Simons businesses, your voluntary 1% contribution goes directly to paying for 70 acres at Oatland North and to creating a wilderness corridor on the island's north end for all to enjoy and connect with nature. Forever.

A warm welcome to our newest partner ,
Thank you to all participating businesses and their patrons.
And be sure to follow our #OnePercentWednesday posts on social media!
Please Save These Dates!
February 29 : African American History Festival. Fort Frederica National Monument.
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM. Learn more HERE .

March 6: Altama Day. Altama Wildlife Management Area. 12:00 - 6:00 PM. Learn more HERE.

March 7: One Hundred Miles Choosing to Lead Conference. Learn more and register HERE.

March 20 : Live Oak Society Thank-You Reception for Live Oak members.

April 4: Old Stables Family Picnic featuring the Golden Isles Strummers. 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM. Learn more and register HERE.

April 4 : Coastal WildScapes' Spring Native Plant Sale. Ashantilly Center. 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM. Learn more HERE .

January 16, 2021 : 21st annual Oyster Roast