1% For St. Simons
1% for St. Simons businesses raise funds to preserve and protect our green space, parks, wildlife, waterways, tree canopies, and trails on St. Simons Island. Our mission is to preserve the island’s natural and scenic character, and to enhance the quality of life for our island community for present and future generations.
Who We Are
1% for St. Simons is a consortium of local businesses working to preserve St. Simons Island in partnership with the St. Simons Land Trust. Since 2000, the Land Trust has been a community institution entrusted with an extraordinary responsibility: to protect our scenic and historic treasures and to preserve the beauty and charm of our island for generations to come.
As of 2017, the St. Simons Land Trust has preserved more than 900 acres, but our work is not yet completed. The current goal is to protect 20% of the island, roughly 2,000 acres. Protected land invites residents and visitors alike to experience the island on foot, by bike, or boat and provides convenient access to the marshes, waterfront, natural areas, parks and wildlife of St. Simons. Our purpose is to preserve the stunning live oak tree canopies, scenic corridors and views, rare ecosystems, waterways, and green space for present and future generations.
Our current land protection priorities are undeveloped tracts on north end and smaller iconic properties along the Frederica Road Corridor and in the south end.
The St. Simons Land Trust is a non-profit, non-partisan, donor supported 501(c)(3) organization. It is governed by a board of directors who are island residents with a strong interest in protecting the island’s special character.
How It Works
Funds are raised by the participating businesses collecting a voluntary 1% donation on the gross sales before taxes of products and services from their customers. For example, if the customer’s bill comes to $50, a voluntary 1% ($0.50) donation will be added. Businesses send their collected donations to the St. Simons Land Trust for land protection, public access and scenic protection... forever. The projects we undertake are carefully vetted against a set of criteria that include ecological value and public access/benefit.
Who Can Participate?
There is no limit to what kind of business can participate. Currently, the participating businesses are restaurants, hotels, and media.
How the Land is Protected
The 1% for St. Simons program protects property in two ways:
- Property can be purchased outright.
- Or, in other cases, a landowner who wishes to protect their property voluntarily puts a conservation easement on the property - an agreement that it will not be developed, or only minimally developed. The Land Trust holds conservation easements on several St. Simons properties.
When we identify property for protection, we raise funds for the acquisition, using criteria that determine priorities.
Who Can Use the Properties?
Anyone is welcome to use and enjoy the protected properties. A variety of public uses are allowed including hiking, walking, biking, bird watching, picnics, family outings and play.