The Land Trust mission is to preserve our island’s natural and scenic character. Few places are more emblematic of the character and charm of St. Simons Island than this corner grove of magnificent live oak trees at the intersection of Frederica and Sea Island roads. St. Simons natives, as well as those who have vacationed on the island for years, have fond memories of their children, grandchildren, or themselves heaving well-worn leather saddles onto the backs of beloved horses, taking riding lessons here, or meandering on horseback from the barn along Sea Island Road and then galloping through the surf on Sea Island’s beach. It would have been a great loss to the community to lose this landmark corner to commercial development, but thanks to so many, it is preserved in perpetuity.
The Campaign to Preserve the Old Stables Corner was announced on July 1, 2010 and completed on September 30. In fewer than 100 days the St. Simons and Sea Island communities rallied to raise $2.67 million to purchase, enhance and maintain this property for the public to enjoy – forever.
“We owe a huge debt of gratitude to an anonymous donor who kicked things off with a $1.15-million gift,” said Campaign Chairman Ben Slade, a founder and former chairman and executive director of the Land Trust. “And we’re thankful to the more than 400 donors – full-time and part-time residents, as well as foundations – who took the campaign over the top. The campaign was also aided by more than 400 new and former members who joined, renewed, or increased their annual membership support.” The then-anonymous donor was later revealed as Laura Richards, daughter of the late Alice Richards.
The area that the Land Trust has now protected is a 2.3-acre wooded corner precisely where the Old Stables stood for more than 60 years – adding historic and sentimental value to the corner and importance to the preservation effort.
— Former Board Chairman Lee Richards