PENNIES FOR PRESERVATION
Pennies for Preservation is a voluntary 1% giving program in which the business community helps raise funds to preserve and protect greenspaces, wilderness areas, trails, waterways, wildlife, important habitat, and tree canopy on St. Simons Island.
How It Works
The St. Simons Land Trust’s partnership with local businesses, and their patrons and clients, was launched in 2017 under the name 1% for St. Simons. The voluntary giving program was envisioned as a way for the entire community to conserve the finest qualities of St. Simons Island and to assist the Land Trust in fulfilling its mission of protecting and preserving the island’s scenic and environmental features and maintaining quality of life for present and future generations.
That initial program was met with tremendous success, and in 2019 it won the Golden Isles Convention and Visitors’ Bureau’s Partner of the Year Award. To help celebrate the program’s third anniversary in October 2020, the Land Trust’s leadership incorporated input from its partners and consumers and decided to rebrand it under a new name – Pennies for Preservation. Although the program has a new name and a new look, it still works the same way. Pennies for Preservation funds are raised by participating businesses either 1) collecting a voluntary 1% donation from their customers' receipts/invoices, 2) donating 1% of their companies proceeds or, 3) providing in-kind services to the Land Trust.
For example, if a business is collecting the voluntary donation and the customer’s bill comes to $50.00, a voluntary 1% donation (50 cents) will be added. It’s truly pennies for the consumer or business, but those small coins add up quickly. Our partnering businesses then send their collected donations to the St. Simons Land Trust for land protection, public access, and scenic protection... forever. And at the suggestion of our partners, who wanted those funds to go to something tangible and lasting, currently, 100% of the Pennies for Preservation contributions goes directly to protecting 70 acres at Oatland North on the island’s north end and to helping create a wilderness corridor on St. Simons.
Who Can Participate?
There is no limit to what kind of business can participate. Partnerships include those with restaurants, retailers, media and service providers, art galleries, hotels, and many others.
How the Land is Protected
The acquisition projects we undertake are carefully vetted against a set of important criteria that includes ecological values, historical and cultural features, location, long-term management costs, public access, and overall benefits to the community. The St. Simons Land Trust protects property in two ways:
- Property can be acquired outright through a fee simple purchase.
- Or, in some cases, a landowner who wishes to retain ownership of his/her property but wants to ensure its long-term protection, will enable the St. Simons Land Trust to hold a conservation easement on the land. The landowner continues to hold the title of the property and agrees to maintain it according to the terms of the conservation easement, but is ensured that the land will not be developed, or only minimally developed. The Land Trust holds conservation easements on several St. Simons properties.
Who can use land trust properties?
The majority of Land Trust properties are open to the public, and we welcome residents and visitors to use those properties with public access as much as possible for hiking, walking, biking, birding, picnicking, and other low-impact recreational activities. To learn which properties have public access, the hours of operation, and the activities that visitors can enjoy, please visit our Protected Properties page.
Property Photos by John Krivec Photography
1% Wednesday Features
On Wednesdays, the Land Trust proudly features our Pennies for Preservation partners to show special recognition to the hard-working businesses, their employees, and patrons. This initiative is called 1% Wednesday. It's a mid-week opportunity for all in our community to support local businesses. Below are some highlights that include additional opportunities to support these local restaurants, retailers, service providers, media and more. Let's Keep It Local!