Beaufort County Open Land Trust Celebrates 40 Years

By Wendy Nilsen Pollitzer

Featured in The Island News

April 21, 2011

Until the mid-1950’s Beaufort County could be described as an undiscovered, sea-island paradise, known mostly to its own residents and those lucky few who had learned about it through friends or by chance, as sometimes happened to lost motorists who wandered off Highway 17.  But this is no longer the case.  As Beaufort’s secret became more widely known, its scenic quality began to change.  The population growth of the 1960’s and 1970’s brought some degree of visual blight, enough so that there was a general community awareness that Beaufort’s scenic character was in danger of being lost.

Ann Bluntzer, Betty Waskiewicz, Dean Moss, John Trask, Jr. and Cindy Baysden

Three local citizens: Marguerite Broz, John M. Trask Jr. and Betty Waskiewicz decided that “something had to done.”  As Beaufort’s secret became more widely known, its scenic natural beauty began to change.  The result was the founding of the Beaufort County Open Land Trust,the first Land Trust in South Carolina.  Since that time numerous other land trust organizations have been started across our state and nation. With support from its members, the Open Land Traust partners with its community and local governments to protect your favorite places—properties that provide breathtaking open spaces, clean water resources, healthy wildlife habitat, and viable agriculture along with conserving resources for healthy, sustainable communities.

To date, in its 40th year, the Beaufort County Open Land Trust has helped preserve 14, 800 acres and 88 parcels.

On Tuesday, April 19th, Staff and Board Members of the Beaufort County Open Land Trust hosted a luncheon at Clarendon Plantation. Beekman Webb, the 2010/11 President welcomed guests, and Ann Bluntzer, Executive Director presented the Year in Review to over 300 members attending. She also thanked Webb, Evy Trask and Patty Kennedy for their service on the Board. Webb, Trask and Kennedy will be departing as Board members.

Beekman Webb, 2010 President and Executive Director Ann Bluntzer

New Board of Trustees Officers voted in at Tuesday’s luncheon were Dean Moss, President;
Patricia Ann Denkler, Vice President; Edward S. Dukes, Secretary
and Terry R. Murray, Treasurer.

Founding trustees, John Trask, Jr. and Betty Waskiewisz, along with Former Executive Director Cindy Baysden and 2011/12 President Dean Moss gave a synopsis of the last 40 years of land conservation in Beaufort County, from the Trust’s humble beginnings to now.

For more information about the Beaufort County Open Land Trust, please visitwww.openlandtrust.org or call (843) 521-2175 Become a member today!

Katherine Royal, Director of Development, Debbie Quirin, Program Director, Garrett Budds, Director of Land Protection and Ann Bluntzer, Executive Director

Edward Dukes, Secretary with Board Members Evy Trask (left) and Patty Kennedy

Land Trust Achievements in 2009 and 2010

2010

Henry Farm –  287 acres in Beaufort County (The Henry Family)

Cypress Bay –  138 Acres in Hampton County (Dr. Skeet and Gail Burris)

Broadmarsh –  53 acres in Beaufort County (Shelley Rule)

Clarendon – Phase III –  321 acres in Beaufort County (The Kennedy Family)

The Green–  1 acre in Beaufort County (John and Molly Gray)

Summerland Plantation– 47 acres in Beaufort County (Wilson Sanders)

Palmer –  27 acres in Beaufort County (Margaret Palmer)

2009

Clarendon Plantation-Phase I & II – 583 acres along the marshes of Let Out Creek, located partially within the existing “AICUZ” surrounding MCAS Beaufort.

Linden Plantation – Einar and Carolyn Trosdal-54 acres along the May River in Bluffton.

South Forest Beach – 30 acres of beach front property on Hilton Head Island.

Woodlands Plantation – Albert Oliphant-1030 acres along the Edisto River in Bamburg County.

Woodlands Plantation II – Mary Bollin Oliphant-300 acres along the Edisto River in Bamburg County.

Woodlands Plantation III – Mary Simms Furman Oliphant-301 acres along the Edisto River in Bamburg County.

Woodlands Plantation IV – W.G. Simms Oliphant, Jr.-136 acres along the Edisto River, Bamburg County.

Woodlands Plantation – Briarpatch-Dr. Don and Nancy King, 689 acres along the Edisto River in Bamburg County.

The Sanctuary at Cypress – Bay Dr. Skeet and Gail Burris-135 acres associated with the Salkehatchie River Basin in Hampton County.

Crooked Creek at Cypress Bay – Dr. Skeet and Gail Burris-35 acres associated with the Salkehatchie River Basin in Hampton County.

White Oak at Cypress Bay – Dr. Skeet and Gail Burris-43 acres associated with the Salkehatchie River Basin in Hampton County.

2009 Fee Simple Donations

Cane Island Hummocks – Four islands located off of Upper Cane Island by the Estate of Flora Trask.

Lucy Creek: River Place Tract – 13 acres along the marshes of Lucy Creek donated by Wallace Newcomb.

How can you help the Open Land Trust?

  • Become a Member
  • Become a Volunteer
  • Donate your property
  • Place a conservation easement on your property
  • Include BCOLT in your estate planning

About Wendy

Wendy Pollitzer is a versatile writer living in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

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