Dear Friends,

During the red-hot month of August, it has often seemed that the whole world was aflame. From the multiple forest fires in California, Nevada, and other western states to the uncontained fires in Germany, Greece, and France, it breaks one’s heart to see thousands upon thousands of forested acres charred beyond recognition. Homes destroyed, lives upended, lives lost.

As sad as it is to see all of this from afar, especially as firestorms inundate places that we know and love, it is gut-wrenching to imagine our centuries-old live oaks (and their accompanying understory of palmetto, fern, and myrtle) burning in a cauldron on the coast.
Photo by John Krivec Photography
One of the miracles of these great trees, however, is their resistance to fire. At Cannon’s Point Preserve, the Land Trust and its many partners have for several years been involved in a multi-phase maritime forest restoration project – the first of its kind in the world. This scientific research began with removing trees that had been victims of pine-beetle infestations. Next, live oak seedlings (many having been grown from acorns dropped by those ancient trees in the “live oak rotunda” at CPP) were planted in plots across the Preserve. Over the years, our Preserve Manager Stephanie Knox and her colleagues from colleges and universities around the country have monitored survivability and growth rate of these young trees.

The data being collected at Cannon’s Point will be shared with academic institutions, forestry services, and natural resource departments across the country. Few of these groups will have the good fortune of being surrounded by trees like ours. But what we’re learning on one small island on the coast of Georgia has what our friend Christi Lambert at The Nature Conservancy in Georgia calls “global significance.” 

John Donne wrote that "no man is an island." No island is truly without connections either. The migratory shorebirds whose flight paths follow our coast, the ebbs and flows of the great Altamaha River and the greater Atlantic Ocean, the sea turtles that travel thousands of miles to return to our shores all connect St. Simons and her sister barrier islands to the grand environmental world.

Peter Wohllenben, in The Hidden Life of Trees, wrote that “The older the tree, the more quickly it grows. If we want to use forests to combat climate change, we must allow them to grow old.”

The earth's fires may continue to rage, and their intensity may increase as we experience prolonged drought and unrelenting waves of heat. But it is heartening to know that we’re learning from the majestic live oaks that have been our island’s keepers for so many years. Studying how they live and grow and age has the potential to benefit on a global scale and will hopefully teach communities how to use nature to guard nature, which in turn protects us all. This important research, and conserving maritime forests so that our live oaks can grow old, is made possible because of you. My deepest thanks --
Emily Ellison
Executive Director
Southwire Chairman of the Board, Roy Richards Photo by The Brunswick News
The Coastal Resources Division of the state’s Department of Natural Resources (GaDNR) hosted a two-day Climate Conference on Jekyll Island earlier this month. The event attracted more than 300 attendees, who represented local governments, nonprofits, advocacy groups, scientists, educators, concerned citizens, and others. The purpose of the conference was to cultivate climate change discussions and encourage collaborative ways to address challenges created by global warming.

 "Between record heat waves, hurricanes twice as intense, and flooding every season of the year, Americans are being bankrupted, tormented, and displaced by fire, heat and water."
To read more from the conference's keynote speaker Roy Richards,
please click HERE.
Covid-19 Protocol in Place

Earlier this month, the Land Trust reinstated the Covid-19 protocols at Cannon's Point Preserve that were initiated last year. This includes all docents wearing masks, remaining inside the screened pavilion when talking to guests, and requesting that visitors access Preserve maps and other information electronically so that no printed materials are being handled. Learn more HERE.

Before making plans to visit Cannon's Point Preserve and other local hiking, biking, and birding venues, please be sure to check in with hosting agencies and confirm that all properties are open to the public.
CCGA Partnership Continues

Last week, the Conservation Biology class from the College of Coastal Georgia visited the Preserve for an on-site orientation. These students will be working on various service learning projects with the Land Trust throughout the semester.

These semester-long projects serve as examples of the continued partnership with the College and the concept of utilizing Land Trust properties as platforms for education and research.
Respecting Fencing

The St. Simons Land Trust is grateful that we can share with the public 200+ year-old historic ruins like these at Cannon's Point Preserve. But to ensure that these fragile ruins stand for years to come, and can remain preserved for future generations to enjoy, we kindly remind visitors to respect all fencing at the Preserve and other historic sites. To maintain the integrity of these active research sites, please help us to minimize disturbance as much as possible.

Thank you for understanding!
An exciting addition to the landscape at the Land Trust's headquarters is our very own St. Simons "tree spirit"!

People have been carving their initials and declarations of love into the barks of trees for centuries. On St. Simons, the practice has been taken to a whole new level, with hidden and not-so-hidden “tree spirits” appearing to be living parts of trees across the island. Recently, one of these carvings – what we’re calling “The Old Man in the Tree” – was created on one of our live oaks at 1810 Frederica Road.

Thank you to Keith and Devon Jennings for their thoughtful and professional work of bringing the old man's "spirit" to life so that he can be enjoyed by everyone who passes by or visits our office.

Learn more about the process of creating a "tree spirit"
and the Land Trust's decision to add one HERE.
Ken Johnson has been a volunteer since 2016 as a Cannon's Point Preserve docent, and he has put in countless trail trimming hours at the Preserve. He is also a "legacy volunteer," following in the footsteps of his father Bob.

When asked what he would say to someone considering becoming a volunteer, Ken said,

"Jump in. It’s a fun way to learn more about the area and share that knowledge with visitors from all over the country. It's also a good way to meet volunteers with whom you may share common interests."

Read more from Ken's spotlight questionnaire HERE.

To become a member of the dedicated family of SSLT Volunteers,
please sign up HERE or email Marty Moody at
Member & Volunteer Jack Brodhag
Acadia National Park
Member George Barger
Sea Island Rd
Member Phil Belt
Mammoth Cave National Park
Whether it's a picnic in the park, a day out in a kayak, or a visit to a National Park, we hope you'll share with us the adventures you and your Land Trust hat have experienced! We hope you'll also enjoy the great outdoors on Land Trust properties. Send us an email or tag us on social media at @stsimonslandtrust to be featured!

Don't have a hat? Let's fix that!
Call our office at (912) 638-9109 to order yours today.
Let's Keep it Local!

Please remember to continue supporting our Golden Isles businesses
and the Land Trust's dedicated Pennies for Preservation partners.
Pennies for Preservation businesses raise funds to preserve and protect St. Simons Island.
Participating businesses raise contributions by either:

1) Collecting a voluntary 1% or specific dollar amount donation from their
customers' receipts/invoices.
2) Donating 1% of their companies' proceeds or services.
Thank you to all participating Pennies for Preservation businesses,
their teams, and their patrons!
"A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.”
-- Mark Twain
This month, the Land Trust's "Staff Pick" is the third book in Eugenia Price's St. Simons Trilogy,

In this book, a wealthy young northerner, Anson Dodge, discovers new meaning in his life on St. Simons Island, Georgia, just after the Civil War. A man of remarkable and unforgettable kindness and strength, Anson's story unfolds as a beautiful tale of honor when he rebuilds the war-torn Christ Church, Frederica, in memory of happy and lost love. Read more HERE.

Visit local bookstore G J Ford Bookshop to purchase the books in this trilogy and many other captivating reads about St. Simons. Not currently on the island? You can purchase the trilogy online HERE.

Experience Eugenia Price's Golden Isles by visiting many of the landmarks
she mentions in her books, including Cannon's Point Preserve and
Congratulations to Land Trust member Linda Olsen for winning the Golden Isles Track Club's first-ever Karen Stone Community Service Award! This award is given to a club member who goes above and beyond to serve club and community.

"I am delighted that The Golden Isles Track Club honored me as the first recipient of the Karen Stone Community Service Award . . . . My volunteer activities have simply focused on projects to make the place we live a little better, such as working with the Land Trust, Friends of Fort Frederica, and Keep Golden Isles Beautiful . . . . Sincerely thank you for acknowledging and appreciating my efforts to serve the club and our community."
--Linda Olsen
Photo by Eliot VanOtteren
Together, we are building a culture of conservation on St. Simons and leaving a legacy of protected land in Coastal Georgia. Thank you for being a part of that legacy!
Your annual memberships have helped the Land Trust accomplish incredible conservation work over the years, including preserving, protecting, and properly managing more than 1,000 acres of intact maritime forestwaterwaystrails, greenspace, and iconic properties on St. Simons.

If you haven't done so already, we hope that you'll continue to be our partners in preservation by renewing your membership today.

September 4 -- National Wildlife Day

September 6 -- World Shorebirds Day

September 18 -- Coastal WildScapes Fall Native Plant Sale, Ashantilly Center, Darien

September 25 -- Coastal WildScapes' Fall Plant Walk, Altama Plantation WMA
Photo by Will Stuart
October -- DNR CoastFest 2021, VIRTUAL

January 1 -- Beginning January 1, Glynn County residential home recycling will be by SUBSCRIPTION ONLY.

January 22, 2022 -- SSLT ANNUAL OYSTER ROAST, Gascoigne Bluff, SSI