March 2019
Letter from the ED
Dear Friends,

In a video the Land Trust produced recently, our board chairman – Scott McQuade – referred to the founders of this organization as a “collection of people who came together” to address concerns about increased development and diminished quality of life on the island. It’s amazing what such a collection of people can do – especially those as passionate about St. Simons and as dedicated to a cause as are the members of this community. 

In this month’s E-newsletter, we highlight several collections of people who are working diligently to preserve and protect St. Simons. Those include members of our Live Oak Society , who we thanked at our Live Oak Society Reception on March 16 for their generous annual support.

These collections of people, and so many more, are creating a community culture of conservation on this beloved barrier island. We are grateful to you all. 

David H. Pope
Executive Director
2019 Live Oak Society Reception

As mentioned above, we were honored to host nearly 350 guests at the annual Live Oak Society Reception this month at Sea Island. An enthusiastic crowd of supporters dined on The Cloister's famous shrimp and grits and other buffet specialties while watching a new video created for the Land Trust by one of our corporate sponsors and 1% for St. Simons partners, WANDER Media . To view the video, please click HERE.

Live Oak Society members were also provided with updates on recent land acquisitions; the renaming of Musgrove parcels now owned by the Land Trust (please see the article below); and the renovation of 1810 Frederica Rd. where, with designated funds from a benevolent donor, we will move our offices in the coming weeks.
The event was made possible by the generous support of our business sponsors, including the following.
Read more about the event, view videos and additional photos HERE .

To become a member of the Live Oak Society , please click HERE .
The Legacy Society
At our annual Live Oak Society reception, the Land Trust also launched a new Planned Giving Program, The Legacy Society.

By being a Legacy Donor , you enhance the investments you've already made in the community, and when you include the Land Trust in your estate plans, you are helping to ensure that this extraordinary place is preserved for future generations.
To read about the different types of bequests that can be made to the Land Trust, please click HERE.

To schedule a meeting to discuss your estate planning goals, please call us at 912.638.9109 or email Emily Ellison at
St. Simons Documentary Debut
Does the popularity of a place
threaten its very existence?

That is one of the questions videographers George Crain and Lance Lipman ask in “St. Simons: Surviving Success,” a documentary that was years in the making and features everyone from fourth and fifth-generation Glynn County natives to part-time residents and vacationers, from city planners and conservationists to developers -- all speaking about their passion and love for St. Simons and their desire to protect and preserve this unique island.

The full documentary was premiered at the Live Oak Society Reception on March 16 at The Cloister.

To watch a 2-minute trailer of the documentary, and to learn how you can show " Surviving Success" at a community or organizational event, please click HERE .
Honoring Native American Heritage
When the Land Trust completed the final phase of the Musgrove acquisition last summer, part of the agreement with the seller (the BRENN Foundation) was that we rename the 258 acres we own , while the Foundation retains “Musgrove” for its purposes. 

This lush wilderness area, which the Land Trust will begin opening to the public in phases later this year, is now officially GUALE PRESERVE , a name with deep historic significance.

For nearly 5,000 years, Native Americans lived on Georgia’s barrier islands, evidence of which has been uncovered throughout the Golden Isles. One of those tribes was the Guale (pronounced “ Wallie ”) Indians , a complicated society that populated land from Georgia’s Lower Satilla River to the North Edisto River in South Carolina. Here the tribe lived in well planned settlements that included a "town center" or "plaza" surrounded by the leaders' home.

The Guale took advantage of this region's bounty of edible plants, game, and seafood during the 16th and 17th centuries. Oysters were a particularly important staple of their diet, resulting in the shell middens that have dramatically impacted plant and animal habitats in St. Simons’ maritime forests. 

We look forward to sharing additional information about Guale Preserve , including its history, forests, and native species of plants and wildlife. And we look forward to celebrating its conservation with you at a dedication ceremony in the coming months. Please stay tuned!

Click the following links to read more:
U.S. Senate Probe on
Syndicated Conservation Easements
On March 27, the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance announced that it was investigating the “potential abuse of syndicated conservation easements.” In such transactions, a syndicate will obtain inflated appraisals of land, resulting in inflated charitable deductions. The participants are essentially profiting “from gaming the tax code,” according to the Senate Committee’s press release, and depriving the federal government of billions in revenue.
This kind of abuse is in direct opposition to the work of the St. Simons Land Trust. “We purchase property in arms-length transactions,” says Executive Director David Pope. “We obtain appraisals from qualified local appraisers, whose business depends on their honesty and good reputation. We operate on gifts from donors, not on fees generated by tax shelters.”

The national Land Trust Alliance , of which the SSLT is an accredited member, endorses the Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act that “preserves the good reputation of our nation’s land appraisers and conservationists. It stops bad actors from profiting. It safeguards taxpayers. And it provides Congress a concise and sensible solution that’s ready for passage,” according to the Alliance’s President and CEO, Andrew Bowman.

“We welcome the investigation by the Senate Finance Committee,” says Pope, “and hope for the passage of legislation that will firmly deal with those who abuse the system.”

Click the following links to read more:
1% Launch Party at Del Sur
Many thanks to all those who attended our first 1% New Partner LAUNCH PARTY held March 25 at DEL SUR ARTISAN EATS .

Cocktails and hors d'oeuvre were enjoyed as Jamaican-born Owen Plant strummed sweet acoustic tunes. We are thrilled to announce that Book Music Now , an Owen Plant Production, is also a new 1% program partner!

Thank you to ALL 1% for St. Simons business partners!
To learn more about this program and how you can participate,
please click 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 March are Delaney's and Cafe Frederica .
Keep up with our Facebook , Instagram and Twitter accounts
to find out where the award will go next !
Tick Season & Nature’s Helpers: Opossums
The poor lowly opossum . It rarely gets much respect. But at least this time of year, it's considered an important member of our ecosystem.

As the weather warms and ticks (those dreaded carriers of Lyme disease) are abundant in our coastal woodlands, this "misunderstood marsupial" is a living vacuum cleaner. Opossums are "walking around the forest floor, hoovering up ticks right and left, killing over 90 percent" of those in their path, according to scientist Rick Ostfeld at the Cary Institute of Ecosystems. One study proved that "possums," as they're called in the south, can devour 5,000 ticks in a season .

This hissing but harmless animal may not be pretty, but this time of year, the opossum is certainly our forest friend.
Land Trust Dictionary
Janet Powers Painting

In the nonprofit sector, stewardship generally refers to the acknowledgment of and consistent communication
with donors. While such stewardship is emphatically important to the Land Trust, in
land conservation work,
stewardship also means the
many responsibilities of managing protected properties in perpetuity.

It means, too, regularly monitoring and enforcing terms of conservation easements.

The St. Simons Land Trust currently owns or holds conservation easements on more than 1,000 acres. Each of our 32 properties has a
Land Management Plan
that is carefully and strictly overseen by staff and community members of our Stewardship Committee .

Click HERE for a link to the Land Trust Alliance and to learn more about
land conservation issues.

Award-winning artist Janet Powers, known for her stunning coastal landscapes and owner of The Gallery on Newcastle
in Brunswick, is also a
1% for St. Simons partner .

In addition to contributing a percentage of proceeds from her artwork to the Land Trust, Janet attended our recent Live Oak Society Reception, completing one of her marshscapes at the event and providing another painting as a silent auction item.

“The extensive salt marshes of Coastal Georgia . . . inspire and affect me so greatly
that one of my goals is to communicate these emotions
to the viewer and perhaps encourage the opportunity
to visualize through different eyes
the beauty and the spirit of these landscapes," writes Janet.

As with all our business partners, we hope that you will support those who so generously support us.
Thank you, Janet!
Winn-Dixie Beneficiary

Winn-Dixie has selected the
St. Simons Land Trust as its Glynn County 2019 nonprofit grant recipient.

A check presentation will be made at our local Winn-Dixie's Grand Re-Opening and Ribbon-Cutting ceremony in Retreat Village the morning of Wednesday, April 24 .

A Community Celebration,
featuring music, samples, and gift-card giveaways
will be held Wednesday, April 27
from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm
220 Retreat Village, St. Simons Island, GA 31522.

Come help celebrate the renovation of our local Winn-Dixie store and help us thank and support one of our generous business supporters!
Save the Dates
March 30 : Coastal WildScapes Annual Spring Native Plant Sale. 9:00 am - 1:00 pm Ashantilly Center, 15591 GA Hwy. 99, Darien, GA 31305
(First Hour for Members Only.) RSVP HERE .

April 12: Coastal Georgia Tourism Conference. Register HERE .

April 13-14 : One Hundred Miles' "Choosing to Lead Conference" Savannah, GA. Register HERE .

April 17 : Commissioner Peter Murphy Town Hall Meeting and "St. Simons: Surviving Success" screening. 6:00 pm Sea Palms Conference Center

April 24: Winn-Dixie Grand Re-Opening and Ribbon Cutting 8:00 am

April 27: Winn-Dixie Community Celebration 11:00 am to 6:00 pm
220 Retreat Village

January 18, 2020 : 20th Annual Oyster Roast