Dear Friends and Supporters of the Land Trust,
The landmass of St. Simons Island is approximately 18 squares miles – about the size of Manhattan – and our current population is roughly 14,000. When you think in terms of the earth’s total landmass being 570 billion squares miles, and the planet having a population of 7.3 billion, we’re just a speck, right? A dot on the map.
But this is home. And it has been home to many families for generations. For many more, it has been their favorite vacation get-away for decades. Few places on earth have the rich biodiversity of Georgia’s barrier islands. Few have the living laboratories in which rare species of plants and animals thrive. Few have the majestic live oaks and the canopy they provide. Even fewer have the historical significance of plantation-era ruins, gravesites of former slaves and descendants of slaves, or the Native American influences that enrich our lives.
As you’ve likely heard, we recently received a $4 million challenge grant from The Anschutz Foundation. Within less than a month, in response to that challenge, we received another $1 million gift from an anonymous local donor.
In the coming weeks, we will be able to announce plans for raising additional gifts and acquiring properties that will be protected for those generations that come after us. In a community this size, it’s astounding that we have more than 1,200 donor households – nearly 10% of the total population – whose support is enabling the Land Trust to fulfill its goal of preserving 20% of St. Simons. We may be small, but the support for protecting and preserving the natural and scenic beauty of our island home is enormous. For that support, we are truly grateful.
David H. Pope