Mission

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

Vision

The East Cooper Land Trust will be leading the most important and ambitious conservation effort for the East Cooper area. We will:

  • Identify and conserve natural spaces of environmental, cultural or historical value.
  • Enrich our urban community with natural spaces and preserve the rural character of surrounding coastal communities.
  • Collaborate with other organizations to provide natural lands such as parks, gardens and trails for people to enjoy.
  • Provide education about the benefits of open space and conservation for all ages.

As a non-profit, non-political organization serving communities between the Cooper and Santee Rivers, we rely on your financial support to sustain and expand our efforts.

What is a Land Trust?

A land trust is a nonprofit organization that actively works to conserve land by undertaking or assisting in land or conservation easement acquisition, or by its stewardship of such land or easements.

Today, there are 1,700 land trusts that have more than 100,000 volunteers and 5 million members. So far, land trusts have conserved 37 million acres of land in America – an area roughly the size of all the New England states combined.

Land trusts work with landowners and the community to conserve land by accepting donations of land, purchasing land, negotiating private, voluntary conservation agreements on land, and stewarding conserved land through the generations to come.

Most land trusts are community based and deeply connected to local needs, so they are well-equipped to identify land that offers critical natural habitat as well as land offering recreational, agricultural and other conservation value.

History

We began with a challenge. Can the East Cooper area continue to grow and develop while maintaining the same quality of life elements responsible for this prosperity and interest? With this question in mind, a concept for a land preservation program was proposed by the Town of Mount Pleasant itself. The Mount Pleasant Open Space Foundation was created by the Town in 2002 and received non-profit status in 2004. Considerable municipal funding was initially dedicated by the Town of Mount Pleasant to secure a successful foundation for our land trust. As the organization evolved, Town funds were decreased and we naturally strove toward self-sufficiency.

In July 2009 the Town of Mount Pleasant passed a resolution authorizing and acknowledging the independence of the MPOSF. In September 2009 we changed our name to the Mount Pleasant Land Conservancy, after which we have been an independent, 501(c)(3) urban land trust, supported entirely by individual/business donations, grants, sponsorships, and special events.

During the summer of 2013 after an intensive visioning and strategic planning process, we redefined our geographic scope to the areas between the Cooper and Santee Rivers. To match this larger scope, on September 1st 2013 we became the East Cooper Land Trust.

Policy Statement

The ECLT serves the community by conserving precious natural resources and quality of life.

The Trust seeks opportunities to establish conservation easements within rural or developed areas. Our approach is one of collaboration and cooperation, and we are neither a proponent nor an opponent of development.

The Trust encourages land use policies that protect culturally significant or ecologically sensitive areas, provide parks and usable open space, support the Urban Growth Boundary, and align with “smart growth” principles.

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