In 2000, the Land Trust began working to preserve those unique features that give St. Simons its character and charm. At that time, properties were being developed at such rapid rates that the island’s scenic beauty and quality of life seemed under attack. Our founders knew then that unless something was done quickly, destruction of environmentally sensitive habitats and historic sites, as well as increased traffic and congestion, would be the result.
Today there is an even greater sense of urgency.
Today we know that we have limited time to save iconic and ecologically valuable land before it is gone forever.
Today we have a fleeting opportunity to take bold steps toward our shared vision of an island community endowed with expansive parks, historical attractions, and permanently protected shorelines and tree canopies. But we must act now.
South to North
In 2016, the St. Simons Land Trust began a strategic evaluation process in which every undeveloped parcel on the island was identified. Moving south to north, we identified those properties that scored highest on a need-to-protect basis, using such important criteria as location, size, habitat value, historic and cultural significance, educational and recreational potential, development pressure, and impact on quality of life.
Under Greatest Threat
While we continued to acquire smaller parcels and develop pocket parks in the south-end Village area, it became evident that the greatest threats for increased development were in two primary regions: 1) the Frederica Road Corridor, and 2) the north-end from the round-about at Frederica and Lawrence Road.
Listed as you would encounter them walking from the Village toward the more undeveloped northern end of the island, properties we identified for immediate conservation include:
Frederica Road Corridor:
- Mildred Huie Museum: .56-acre historic site on the west side of Frederica Road.
- 1810 Frederica Road: 1.67 acres where a discount store had been previously proposed.
- Musgrove Completion: 110 acres to finalize a total 258-acre acquisition begun in 2016, with right of first refusal on an additional 200 acres.
- Sinclair Property: 60-acre tract on the east side of Lawrence Rd. with approximately 100 lot entitlements.
- Hasell Property: Two tracts totaling 70 acres adjacent to Cannon’s Point Preserve on the eastern side of Lawrence Road, with the goal of securing another 40-acre parcel contiguous with the first two.
These properties comprise only a portion of the land identified with high conservation value and future development impact. The total cost of sites currently under contract, and those under consideration, ranges from $8 to $14 Million. We therefore developed a multi-phase land acquisition and fundraising plan.
The Canopy Campaign: An Overarching Strategy to Preserve St. Simons South to North
Phases I and II
Extensive Research, Financial and Acquisition Feasibility. Lead Gifts secured.
Total $8 Million Capital Campaign anchored by a $4 Million Challenge Grant from The Anschutz Foundation for purchase of properties under contract and under serious consideration.
Deadline: December 2018
Future Opportunities Fund for key properties currently under review and for those that may become available.
Deadline: June 2020
Please consider making a gift TODAY to preserve St. Simons for TOMORROW
Matched dollar-for-dollar by The Anschutz Foundation’s $4 Million Challenge Grant, your gift will enable us to move closer to our strategic vision of protecting and preserving 2,000 acres island-wide.
Thank you for your partnership in this effort!