To achieve our mission to preserve the natural and scenic character of St. Simons Island, SSLT uses various conservation transaction types to protect land forever. Our current goal is 20% of the island protected – or roughly 2,000 acres. The projects we undertake are carefully vetted against a set of criteria that include ecological value, public access/benefit, and fundraising feasibility. Our current focus areas are:
- North end: The north end of St. Simons Island – as we are defining it, north of the Lawrence Road roundabout, between and including Musgrove and Cannon’s Point – has the most acreage available for protection left on the Island. These properties are wooded, feature maritime forest and wildlife habitat, and are among some of the most ecologically sensitive in the world. The north end also faces the largest threat of development and therefore represents the largest impact on our rare ecosystems and on quality of life for St. Simons residents and visitors.
- South end: There are still many opportunities for greenspace on the south end of St. Simons. These properties tend to be smaller in scale and more expensive in price.
- Building trails: The Land Trust plays an important facilitator role in the construction of trails on St. Simons Island. We work with PATH Foundation with Glynn County and other private donors. Pedestrian resources and connectivity to parks and natural areas are important values for the Land Trust.
Trails invite residents and visitors alike to experience the island on foot or by bike, and provide closer access to the marshes, natural areas, parks and wildlife of St. Simons. Trails allow people to interact with and feel the benefits of conservation first-hand, thus promoting a conservation ethic. Trails can alleviate traffic and access issues for residents and visitors. "Trails and nature" are consistently two of the top reasons why visitors choose the Golden Isles, according to the Convention & Visitors’ Bureau annual survey.