One of the earliest gifts to the Land Trust was a 40-acre marsh-front property on Frederica Road, donated to the Land Trust by St. Simons Island resident Dorothy Gilbert in honor of her late husband, John. In 2006, the Land Trust, with the help of volunteers, designed and installed a half-mile nature trail and boardwalk through these dramatic woods.
The trail is one of the most visited spots on the island, with hundreds of individuals stopping at the property every week. Such an overwhelming response to the opening of the nature trail was an indication of the desire of both residents and vacationers to have access to protected woodlands, nature trails, viewsheds, and greenspaces, and has continued to inspire the Land Trust to provide similar opportunities for the public to enjoy.
Bridges and a boardwalk cross wetlands and lead to a viewing deck on the eastern marsh, looking toward Sea Island. At the trail’s center, there is a magnificent 200-year-old oak tree aptly named, “John’s Oak.”
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The Dorothy Gilbert Award is named for the late conservationist and philanthropist Dorothy Gilbert, who made a gift of this invaluable 40-acre marsh front property to the Land Trust in 2006. The award is made, as warranted, by the Board of Directors, to an individual or business that has contributed significantly to the mission of the Land Trust.