Mar 05 2010

Preserving Palmetto Point

Palmetto Point. PHOTO BY: Tina Mayland

Palmetto Point. PHOTO BY: Tina Mayland

Special to the Island Connection

As part of its continuing effort to preserve the unique natural environment of South Carolina’s Lowcountry, the Lowcountry Open Land Trust recently celebrated the conservation of Palmetto Point, a 150 acre tract of land located on Legareville Road in the traditionally rural and agricultural setting of Johns Island. Palmetto Point is visible from the waterways of the Kiawah River, Chaplin Creek, Alligator Creek and the Stono River, and shares borders with close to 1000 acres of land protected by the Land Trust.

The conservation of these lands favorably impacts the water quality of the adjacent waterways while providing refuge and habitat to a diversity of wildlife. The property itself is comprised of active agricultural fields, natural pine and hardwood stands, a freshwater pond, Live Oaks and Palmettos, extensive Spartina marsh, and a maritime forest on its adjacent hummock island. The protection of Palmetto Point allows the land to remain in its traditional agricultural and rural residential use, providing scenic and open space values in perpetuity. The adjacent hummock island will also be protected in its relatively natural state, helping to conserve its unique habitat type which has the ability to support various rare and endangered species of flora and fauna. Due to these significant benefits to the citizens of Charleston County, the protection of Palmetto Point was supported by public funding in cooperation with the Charleston County Greenbelt Bank.

Now celebrating its 25th year, the Lowcountry Open Land Trust currently protects 81,118 acres on 247 properties. Its mission is to protect and foster voluntary conservation of the irreplaceable Lowcountry forests, farmland, open spaces, wildlife habitat and wetlands, thus helping to conserve forever its unique sense of place and quality of life.

“There’s an unusually strong conservation ethic in South Carolina,” said Margaret P. Blackmer, President of the Board of Trustees. “We’re gratified to work with landowners who recognize how important it is to preserve the unique rural nature of the area. Their efforts benefit all South Carolinians by helping to protect wildlife habitat, preserve water quality, and minimize the human effects on our environment for future generations.”

If you are interested in learning more about the Lowcountry Open Land Trust, or to become a member, call Tina Mayland at 577-6510, or visit www.LOLT.org.

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