Annual Race and Roast this Sunday

Moultrie News

On Sunday, March 18, the public is invited to an Oyster Roast hosted by East Cooper Land Trust on the historic lawn of Oakland Plantation from 1-4 pm. All-inclusive tickets to the event include music by Hans Wenzel and the Eighty Sixers, all-you-can-eat oysters, chili, hot dogs, local beer, hay rides, kid activities and more. Runners can come early for a 5K Trail Run that starts at 12:30 pm. The run will begin and finish under the avenue of oaks that line the main drive to this private plantation and will wind through the forest in the 132-acre easement held by East Cooper Land Trust. New this year is a 12-and-under Fun Run.

Funds raised from this event support the local land conservation efforts of East Cooper Land Trust, a non-profit, non-political organization working to conserve urban, suburban and rural parcels of land and connect people to nature via green spaces and trails.

This fun, family-friendly event is being sponsored by the following: Butler Family Foundation and South State Bank as well as Baldwin & Associates, Buist, Byars & Taylor, Doe Hall Creek Timber Company, KOA Campground, Lucey Mortgage Corporation, Seamon Whiteside + Associates, Thomas & Hutton Engineering Co., MUSC Health, and Whole Foods.

East Cooper Land Trust is a community-supported nonprofit organization devoted to conserving natural spaces, thus the quality of life for current and future generations.

Visit to learn more.

Happy hours with a green twist to resume in 2018

The Post and Courier
By David Quick

The metropolitan Charleston area has dozens of environmentally focused nonprofits and businesses, though arguably few collaborate because they end up working within their own silos.

Starting this month, an effort to revive Green Drinks, monthly happy hours with an environmental twist, seeks to be a thread connecting organizations in their complementary efforts to foster a more sustainable, healthier community.

Carolee Williams, the Lowcountry field director for the Conservation Voters of South Carolina, decided to kick-start Charleston’s long-inactive chapter after attending a Green Drinks event in Beaufort, which drew about 100 people.

“It was powerful,” Williams recalled of the event featuring drinks and a short talk by a speaker. “It inspired me to see what we could do in Charleston.”

The first Green Drinks Charleston event in the new year will feature East Cooper Land Trust’s board member Sarah Hays and be held 5:30-7 p.m. Jan. 16 at Water’s Edge, located on Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant.

Green Drinks will be held at the same time every third Tuesday of the month at different locations around the Charleston area. Due to Thanksgiving, the Green Drinks Charleston event in November will be held on the second Tuesday of the month.

Green Drinks is far from being new, especially from an international standpoint.

Its origins are traced back to a North London pub, the Slug and Lettuce, in 1989 when green designers and their friends pulled some tables together and started talking about environmental matters. It grew organically, of course, over the next decade until the concept of Green Drinks hit the web in 2000.

Hundreds of chapters exist across the globe, though some listed on the website are inactive. None listed in South Carolina, other than Beaufort, appear to have been active in 2017.

Paul Nurnberg, founder and steering committee member of Greendrinks Beaufort, said the gatherings, which always feature a speaker, draw between 60 and 130 people every month. The meetings are held 5:30-7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month at various locations around Beaufort. Speakers usually start at 6:15 p.m. and talk for 10 to 20 minutes.

Nurnberg said he started one in Beaufort in 2008 after going to a Green Drinks event in Savannah that drew more than 200 people. However, the Savannah events didn’t feature a speaker and attendance eventually dropped off. The last one he attended there had about 25 people.

So he’s a believer in making the events topical.

In Charleston, Williams and the other Green Drinks committee members have already mapped out monthly meetings through February 2019, designating the gatherings to an array of local groups dedicated to sustainability, conservation and health.

Some of the other organizations and initiatives lined up with specific months include Plastic Free Lowcountry, the Coastal Conservation League, the South Carolina Aquarium, Conservation Voters of South Carolina, the Charleston chapter of the Surfrider Foundation and the Sustainability Institute.

East Cooper Land Trust Executive Director Catherine Main said the Green Drinks effort could foster collaboration, noting that “Everybody’s mission is different, but I think there’s room for working together.”

Katie Zimmerman, executive director of Charleston Moves, said the need to come together as a community on a regular basis is important because the groups and businesses are working on so many initiatives that “no one knows everything.”

She pointed to the fact that Plastic Free Lowcountry initiative came about a result that several groups were working on a campaign to curb the amount of plastic ending up in waterways, even though they were working on different aspects of it. The Coastal Conservation League was working on policy, Charleston Waterkeeper on water quality, the Aquarium was working on education and the impact on sea turtles, and Surfrider was doing litter pick-ups.

The collaboration, Zimmerman added, has resulted in an array of successes, from plastic bag bans to the #StrawlessSummer initiative. Building the network between groups can lead to more joint efforts.

“All of these groups are working toward the good of the community. Every group is focused on making it, or keeping it, a wonderful place for wildlife, people, natural resources and health,” she said, adding that most environmental progress is happening at the local level in the United States these days.

East Cooper land deal protects almost 400 acres of salt marsh, small island in Mount Pleasant

The Post and Courier
By David Slade

MOUNT PLEASANT — A land deal involving hundreds of acres of salt marsh and a small island on the north side of the Ben Sawyer causeway has doubled the amount of property protected by the East Cooper Land Trust.

The roughly 5-acre island along the Intracoastal Waterway and Conch Creek can be seen from the Ben Sawyer Bridge, north of Gold Bug Island. Like Gold Bug Island and Toler’s Cover, the island purchased by the East Cooper Land Trust was created years ago by dredge spoils.

“The property owners bought it 49 years ago with the intention of putting a marina there, but they were never able to get the permits,” said Land Trust Director Catherine Main. “Our thought is that we could potentially use it for educational purposes.”

He said the owners of the undeveloped island approached the club years ago, hoping to create a road across the marsh.

The East Cooper Land Trust purchase, Lapierre said, “would put the whole area into conservation.”

The marsh and marsh island acquired by the trust have been owned for decades by the Conch Creek Corp.

“We bought the property 49 years ago hoping to turn it into a marina,” said Robert Ragin, secretary of the corporation, in a statement. “Since that didn’t happen, we are pleased the property is permanently being conserved with the East Cooper Land Trust.”

Along with the marsh, which was privately owned through a King’s Grant, the East Cooper Land Trust deal involves 398 acres. The $238,800 purchase was made possible with a North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant in partnership with Duck Unlimited Inc., Main said.

The land trust hopes to use the island to benefit the public, possibly as a site for education and research, kayak access, and protection of bird and fish habitat.

The boundaries of the property extend nearly 3,500 feet along the Ben Sawyer Boulevard causeway, and more than 3,000 feet along the Intracoastal Waterway.

Source: The Post and Courier

Monarch Butterflies on Sullivan’s Island

We were excited to hear from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife representative yesterday that one of our conserved properties, Station 9 on Sullivan’s Island, has maybe the most concentrated Monarch Butterflies they’ve seen in the state. U.S. Fish and Wildlife is tagging and releasing the butterflies to research their travel paths. We invite you to take your family and friends out to Station 9 to go and see these beautiful butterflies!

Catherine, Alison and Alex


Conch Creek islands and marsh conserved by East Cooper Land Trust

Moultrie News
By Daniel Shaughnessy OpEd

Travel along the meandering Conch Creek into the silent heart of the surrounding salt marsh, and there is no telling what impressions nature will reveal to you: the sunrise reflection through the salt myrtle, the guttural roll of a boat-tailed grackle in the morning, an ambrosial tang of pluff mud in the nostrils, or squadrons of dowitchers nesting in the cordgrass. While experiencing the untouched beauty of this land may seem rare, if Ben Sawyer Boulevard is part of your commute, you pass it by every day.

This biodiverse landscape is located north of the Intracoastal Waterway between Ben Sawyer Boulevard and Conch Creek, and it was recently acquired by the East Cooper Land Trust.

The property consists of salt marsh estuarine emergent wetland habitat and associated upland islands within the CAWS Waterfowl Focus area and along the Intracoastal Waterway. It currently provides habitat for breeding, migration, and wintering migratory birds in the coastal zone in South Carolina. Salt marsh is ranked as one of the most biologically productive ecosystems on earth, providing nursery grounds for many species of birds and fish, as well as vital wildlife habitat.

After visiting the site earlier this month, East Cooper Land Trust director Catherine Main commented on the property’s location, “It was striking to see the contrast between this seemingly pristine wildlife habitat and the surrounding urban environment in Mount Pleasant and Sullivan’s Island.” The trust’s stewardship of the property will help ensure the quality of the bird and fish habitat as human infrastructure continues to be built along the surrounding highland. The conservation effort will also maintain the integrity of the wetlands, which help mitigate potential flooding and protect water quality in the area by absorbing sediment runoff.

East Cooper Land Trust’s ownership of the property opens the potential for public benefit along the blueway for kayakers and collaborative educational programs. Another long-term option includes the installation and maintenance of a living shoreline oyster reef and restoration to a more natural state.

“This purchase will help ensure the preservation of the rural character of our coastal community,” Ms. Main said, “which is one of the primary goals of the East Cooper Land Trust.”

Source: Moultrie News

East Cooper Land Trust Joins the Global #GivingTuesday Movement

East Cooper Land Trust has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. Occurring this year on November 28, #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (in the US) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday to kick off the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support.

East Cooper Land Trust’s mission is to conserve natural spaces of our community and preserve the quality of life for current and future generations. They are using all of their resources to ensure our community remains a place where you’re proud to live, work and play. They use negotiation and compensation with landowners to achieve conservation. In addition to working with private landowners, they work with developers and municipalities to preserve the natural beauty of our coastal community.

Those who are interested in joining East Cooper Land Trust’s #GivingTuesday initiative can visit For more details about the #GivingTuesday movement, visit the #GivingTuesday website

Farm supper raises funds for land conservation

Moultrie News


Fall in the Lowcountry is the perfect time to get outside, enjoy excellent food and music while helping conserve local land.

Join the East Cooper Land Trust (ECLT) at Thornhill Farm in McClellanville for the third annual “Harvest Feast” – a community farm supper for local land conservation – on Thursday, Nov. 9.

In 2014 East Cooper Land Trust acquired Thornhill Farm. This 94-acre farm will forever be agricultural and protected from subdivision. When farms are profitable and farming is valued, it decreases the threat of losing other farms to incompatible development.

For more information and to purchase your all-inclusive tickets, contact East Cooper Land Trust or go to their website at Sponsors for the event include Buist, Byars & Taylor, On Forty-One, Seamon Whiteside & Associates and Stubbs Muldrow Herin architects.

East Cooper Land Trust is a community-supported nonprofit organization devoted to conserving natural spaces, thus the quality of life for current and future generations. Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, ECLT has permanently conserved 18 properties and more than 380 acres.

Source: Moultrie News

Trio Solutions selects five nonprofits for free Marketing services during CreateAthon® 2017

Moultrie News

Five non-profit organizations from the Lowcountry have been chosen to be the beneficiaries of free marketing and advertising services provided by Trio Solutions Inc. (TRIO) during its eleventh annual CreateAthon® event. The collaborative, 24-hour creative marathon will take place on Thursday, Oct. 26 until Friday, Oct. 27. at TRIO’s office in Mount Pleasant.

CreateAthon is a 24-hour, pro bono marketing marathon where TRIO provides free services to selected nonprofits. The creative marathon was originally created by RIGGS advertising agency out of Columbia, S.C. in 1997. TRIO has been the official CreateAthon agency for the Lowcountry area since 2006. TRIO received over 25 applications and narrowed it down to five local organizations. The recipients are Carolina Youth Development Center, Charleston Area Senior Citizens Services, East Cooper Land Trust, Lowcountry Food Bank and Saint Frances Animal Center.

TRIO’s team of ten expects to produce between 10 to 15 creative projects for the chosen organizations with an estimated marketing value of more than $50,000. Deliverables produced during the blitz include projects that span all aspects of traditional and digital marketing, such as logo design, print collateral, marketing plans, websites, social media assessments, videos, etc.

To learn more about TRIO’s CreateAthon, visit or contact Lindsey at

About CreatAthon®
CreateAthon is a 24-hour pro-bono creative work blitz that TRIO offers each year to area nonprofits. CreateAthon started at RIGGS agency in Columbia in 1998 and has grown into a global effort represented by more than 100 creative agencies around the world. TRIO is proud to be the exclusive CreateAthon agency for the Lowcountry region of South Carolina. Over the years, CreateAthon agencies have given millions of dollars in free services to thousands of awesome causes around the globe.

About Trio Solutions
Trio Solutions Inc. is a full-service marketing communications agency with a philosophy to work hard, enjoy life and make a difference. TRIO specializes in marketing and public relations, event planning, graphic design, and web and social media solutions that increase awareness and strengthen brands. For more information, visit and

Source: Moultrie News

Join local bike events next Wed. Oct. 11 as part of the East Coast River Relay

Charleston City Paper


The East Coast Greenway, the nation’s longest connected biking and walking route, celebrates 25 years by hosting a 3,000-mile, 68-day river relay, a series of events held in partnership with local organizations on Wed. Oct. 11. In Charleston, the Greenway Alliance is partnering with Charleston Moves, the East Cooper Land Trust, and Keep Charleston Beautiful, for a day full of bike rides and social hours.

In a statement Brent Buice, South Carolina and Georgia coordinator for the East Coast Greenway Alliance says, “Charleston and Mt. Pleasant are priority corridors of the East Coast Greenway in the Southeast. The Alliance is thrilled to work with such enthusiastic partners in creating safe places to walk and bike in the region.”

Picture this: a bridge filled with bikes! - PROVIDED

  • Provided
  • Picture this: a bridge filled with bikes!

The day starts with a morning bike ride  at 8:30 a.m., departing from the West Ashley Library at 45 Windermere Blvd., and crossing the Legare Bridge to Cannon Park downtown. This ride will be police-escorted because, in case ya missed it, there still isn’t a bike lane connecting downtown and West Ashley.

Join in an evening bike ride at Charleston Waterfront Park at 5:30 p.m., which takes the Ravenel Bridge bike path Patriots Point and ends at the Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina for a social hour, or start at White Point Garden at 6 p.m., ride across Memorial Bridge (again, with a police escort), and join fellow cyclists at Mellow Mushroom Avondale.

You can also participate in a litter sweep of the West Ashley Greenway which convenes on the greenway behind Starbucks (6 Windermere Blvd.) at 6 p.m.

Source: Charleston City Paper

East Cooper Land Trust Earns National Recognition

Moultrie News

At a time of political change, one thing is clear and consistent: Americans strongly support saving the open spaces they love. Since 2002, East Cooper Land Trust has been doing just that for the people of East Cooper. Now East Cooper Land Trust announced it has achieved national recognition – joining a network of only 389 accredited land trusts across the nation that have demonstrated their commitment to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in their work.

“We are proud to be recognized as one of the top land trusts in the country and are excited to celebrate this award with our community,” said executive director Catherine Main. “We will continue our work to permanently conserve natural spaces in East Cooper, making it an even greater place for us and our children.”

East Cooper Land Trust had to provide extensive documentation and undergo a comprehensive review as part of its accreditation application. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded accreditation, signifying its confidence that East Cooper Land Trust’s property will be protected forever. Almost 20 million acres of farms, forests and natural areas vital to healthy communities are now permanently conserved by an accredited land trust.

East Cooper Land Trust has permanently conserved 18 properties to date. Three are adjacent to public schools. Five are community gathering places, including two in Gullah-Geechee neighborhoods. One is a working farm. Each property has its own story and value, be it environmental, cultural or historical.

“It is exciting to recognize East Cooper Land Trust with this distinction,” said Tammara Van Ryn, executive director of the Commission. “Accredited land trusts are united behind strong ethical standards ensuring the places people love will be conserved forever. Accreditation recognizes East Cooper Land Trust has demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.”

East Cooper Land Trust is one of 1,363 land trusts across the United States according to the most recent National Land Trust Census, released Dec. 1, 2016 by the Land Trust Alliance. This comprehensive report also shows that accredited land trusts have made significant achievements.

• Accredited land trusts have steadily grown and now steward almost 80 percent of conservation lands and easements held by all land trusts.

• Accredited land trusts protected five times more land from 2010-15 than land trusts that were not yet accredited.

• Accredited land trusts also have stronger systems and more resources to steward and defend their conservation lands forever.

• As a result, the public’s trust in land conservation has increased helping to win support for federal, state and local conservation funding measures.

A complete list of accredited land trusts and more information about the process and benefits are detailed at

About East Cooper Land Trust:

East Cooper Land Trust is a community-supported nonprofit organization devoted to conserving natural spaces, thus the quality of life for current and future generations.

About the Land Trust Accreditation Commission:

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission inspires excellence, promotes public trust and ensures permanence in the conservation of open lands by recognizing organizations that meet rigorous quality standards and strive for continuous improvement. The Commission, established in 2006 as an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts. For more, visit

About the Land Trust Alliance:

Founded in 1982, the Land Trust Alliance is a national land conservation organization that works to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America. Based in Washington, D.C., and with several regional offices, the Alliance represents about 1,000 member land trusts nationwide. The Alliance’s leadership serves the entire land trust community—our work in the nation’s capital represents the policy priorities of land conservationists from every state; our education programs improve and empower land trusts from Maine to Alaska; and our comprehensive vision for the future of land conservation includes new partners, new programs and new priorities.

Source: Moultrie News

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