Dear Friends,

How appropriate that April is not only when we celebrate Earth Day, it's also the month that initiates Coastal Georgia's spring migration season. Just as "snowbirds" of the human sort begin their annual returns to Maine, Michigan, New York, Chicago, North Carolina, and other summer spots, the feathered variety of birds are on their journeys too. Along the way they're stopping off in huge numbers along the Georgia coast, nesting among the moss, in the tops of pines, along ponds and streams, and in the marsh.
Gene Keferl leading a Spring Bird Walk at CPP
Cedar Waxwings
Gene Keferl, a retired biology professor and consummate birder who led a Bird Walk at Cannon's Point Preserve recently, says that Glynn County has the best birding of anywhere in Georgia. More than 360 species of birds have been recorded in the county, and both migratory and resident birds are particularly abundant on the barrier islands this time of year. On our walk with Gene last week, we were able to see nearly a dozen cedar waxwings perched together on a couple of trees near the old Taylor's Fish Camp. The following day, our Land Conservation Manager Stephanie Knox, and partners from the Georgia Audubon Society, identified more than 50 species in less than two hours at Cannon's Point. That included an anhinga, egrets, herons, a painted bunting, northern parula, various species of warblers, and three kinds of woodpeckers. View the list of all species seen at Cannon's Point Preserve HERE.

Gene Keferl, Dr. Bob Cooper, and Bob Sattelmeyer -- all of whom are leading Bird Walks on Land Trust properties during the migratory season -- not only are able to spot these different species by sight, they're also able to identify them by sound. Some of us can definitely tell a bird from a cat, but on that hike at Cannon's Point last week, Gene Keferl was able to tell when we were in the vicinity of a catbird or hearing the multi-noted song of a summer tanager. I play recordings of bird sounds sometimes, just hoping that I'll learn to distinguish one species from another. But whether we develop that kind of auditory talent, just listening to their calls to one another is as calming and joyful as chamber music.

To those heading north or west for the season, we will miss you and we thank you for the ways you partnered with us while you were on the coast. And if you missed those other kinds of birds before they headed off on their journeys, not to worry. Most will be back again in the fall, and we hope you'll make plans to see them then.
Emily Ellison
Executive Director
From April 17-23, the Land Trust celebrated National Volunteer Week by highlighting all volunteers in an e-blast at the beginning of the week, featuring several different volunteer groups on social media, and hosting a gathering at our office to thank our volunteer partners in person and provide them with organizational updates.

We could not fulfill our mission without so many people pitching in, lending helping hands, and sharing invaluable knowledge and expertise. Each volunteer plays a significant role in the Land Trust's efforts to protect and preserve St. Simons' natural resources, wildlife, and habitats.

Read more from our e-blast HERE.
Above are some of those who stopped by during our Volunteer Coffee the morning of April 19. The event was a small way for SSLT staff to say thank you and remind volunteers how important they are to this island and to coastal conservation.

Thank you to ALL our dedicated voluntary partners in preservation!

Learn more about volunteering with the Land Trust HERE.
New board members Scott Coleman, Gail McAlister, and Bob Sattelmeyer.
Not pictured: Beth Holder
Susan Shipman (Board Chair), Frances McCrary (SSLT co-founder and emeritus board member), and Emily Ellison (Executive Director)
One very important group of Land Trust volunteers includes our Board of Directors. This dedicated, talented, and generous council of community leaders works with Land Trust staff to ensure the organization is following nonprofit organizational best practices and rules of good governance and fulfilling our mission of preserving and protecting the natural and scenic values of St. Simons Island.

On April 21, following the board's Annual Meeting, we hosted a social hour for our current Board of Directors and were able to thank those members whose terms will end on April 30. It has been an honor to work with Deb Luginbuhl, Russ Mentzer, Frank Mitchell, and Patrick Parker for their years of service and leadership on the St. Simons Land Trust's board. Deb, Russ, Frank, and Patrick have all performed critically important roles and have been wise, dedicated, and generous leaders of the Land Trust board for the past six years.

At the reception on the 21st, we were also able to welcome those newly elected directors who will join the board on May 1, for a gathering in the backyard of the Land Trust's office. Please join us in welcoming new board members Scott Coleman, Beth Holder, Gail McAlister, and Bob Sattelmeyer!

It was also a pleasure to name both Frances McCrary and Ben Slade, co-founders of the organization, as emeritus board members.

Learn more about our Board of Directors HERE.
The tabby barn in the southern area of Cannon's Point Preserve is getting a new roof! Having fallen into disrepair, SSLT staff consulted with the Office of the State Archaeologist regarding its repair and we are pleased that replacement of the roof has begun.

Jamie Pearson, great grandson of Reginald Taylor (original builder of the tabby barn, around 1925) is leading the repair work with our neighbor, Doug Cranford. Jamie has been involved with maintenance at Cannon’s Point Preserve for a number of years and takes pride in working on the land where his family previously lived and worked. We are very grateful to have Jamie’s skills, institutional knowledge of the property, and interest in this important project.

Learn more about the tabby barn's history HERE.

Check out Following the Tabby Trail by Jingle Davis being published by UGA Press on June 1.
Photographs in this book were taken by Land Trust Ambassador Benjamin Galland.
Starting May 1st, please join us in welcoming our newest Pennies for Preservation partner,

Brought to you by the same owners of Certified Burgers and Beverage, David Carrier (pictured), Bo Chambliss and Jessica Snyder, this grab-and-go concept includes a Five-Star dining approach to family meals that changes weekly. Meal options include current favorites like the Poke Bowl and Dan Dan Noodles.

Inside Certified Pantry and Provisions, patrons can find some of Chef David Carrier’s favorite meats and cheeses from all over. In the freezer, you can find his favorite soups and stocks. For those who are whiskey or bourbon drinkers, Chef also offers the perfect ice cubes for your sipping pleasure.

Don’t forget to check out their storefront market! If you want to try and cook like Chef, this area features his favorite pots, pans, and knives.

Thank you Chef David, Bo, Jessica, and the Certified Pantry and Provisions team and customers for helping us preserve 70 beautiful acres on the north end of St. Simons.
The 'A Penny for Your Thoughts' conversation series with our Pennies for Preservation partners continues! This Q&A initiative individually highlights each partner so the community can connect with and get to know each business and business owners a little better.

Please see a recap of comments from those Pennies for Preservation partners who were featured on social media in APRIL:


Grinder to griddle is the Certified Burgers and Beverage mentality. This locally-owned establishment serves wholesome, fresh, and locally-sourced food ranging from salads to hand cut fries and fresh ground patties to thick, luscious milkshakes – all made in-house. The Certified team has created a warm, comfortable environment with excellent service, delicious cooking, and handcrafted cocktails.

The owners that brought you Certified Burgers and Beverage are happy to announce their newest business venture, and soon-to-be Pennies for Preservation partner, Certified Pantry and Provisions. The Pantry is a grab-and-go restaurant including a Five-Star dining approach to family meals.

Chef David Carrier (pictured), Bo Chambliss and Jessica Snyder are “extremely proud” of their team for their hard over the last six years and look forward to adding more staff and days of operation to both establishments very soon.

When we asked Chris Moncus of Chris Moncus Photography to share his business motto, we couldn’t help but smile!

“We photograph happy people at their happiest.”

And when you look through some of Chris’s photos, it’s easy to see how that motto has paid off. He further explained, “We want to help [our clients] remember the best times and share them with friends, family, or [their] customers. [Their] happiness is our happiness!”

Helping businesses of all shapes & sizes develop or enhance their brand image is what Commonground Creative does best. "We’re a husband-and-wife team dedicated to bettering our community by serving others, in both business relations and volunteer efforts," says Clay Caldwell, co-owner of Commonground Creative. While Clay leads the charge on all creative services, his wife Jenna manages marketing strategies.

After hearing their clients’ stories and understanding their needs, Clay and Jenna work closely with their clients to provide creative solutions that are not only special and unique to them, but also make a mark in their industry. "This is what we often refer to as 'Finding Common Ground'."
Let's Keep it Local!

Please remember to continue supporting our Golden Isles businesses
and the Land Trust's dedicated Pennies for Preservation partners.
Pennies for Preservation businesses raise funds to preserve and protect St. Simons Island.
Participating businesses raise contributions by either:

1) Collecting a voluntary 1% or specific dollar amount donation from their
customers' receipts/invoices.
2) Donating 1% of their companies' proceeds or services.
Thank you to SSLT board member Jim Barger for allowing our staff to "adopt" several monarch caterpillars this month!

The Bargers had an "embarrassment of riches" when it came to the numbers of monarch caterpillars feasting on the milkweed in their yard, so we quickly took Jim up on his offer to take in a few. Two of our adoptees are seen in the photo to the left, showing their distinctive white, black, and yellow stripes.

Monarchs (Danaus plexippus) are often called the "king of butterflies" because of their beauty and the large migratory range and exhausting flight of its fourth generation that will go through the entire life cycle once again in the fall -- laying eggs on milkweed, transforming to caterpillar, then pupa, and finally adult butterfly.

Milkweed plants are rapidly disappearing because of increased development and use of herbicides. If you decide to start growing some of your own, be sure and plant species native to Coastal Georgia such as Carolina milkweed, pinewoods milkweed, fewflower milkweed, and butterfly milkweed.

Read more about this "adoption" and learn more about monarchs HERE.
April 27: Land Trust Ambassadors' Cocktails for Conservation, Port City Park, Downtown Brunswick

April 28: Spring Bird Tour, Guale Preserve, 8AM, reservations not required.

May 6: Spring Bird Tour, Cannon's Point Preserve, 8AM, reservations not required.

May 11: Build Your Own Rain Barrel Workshop, Georgia DNR Coastal Regional Headquarters

June 1: Following the Tabby Trail by Jingle Davis being published by UGA Press
Male Painted Bunting
Photo by Bob Sattelmeyer
June 4: Brunswick Wellness Walk, Run, Bike; Howard Coffin Park

June 9: ST. SIMONS LAND TRUST MOVIE NIGHT, Land Trust Office, more details to come!

January 21, 2023: 23rd ANNUAL OYSTER ROAST!
For the Bird Singing before Dawn

Kim Stafford

Some people presume to be hopeful
when there is no evidence for hope,
to be happy when there is no cause.
Let me say now, I’m with them.

In deep darkness on a cold twig
in a dangerous world, one first
little fluff lets out a peep, a warble,
a song—and in a little while, behold:

the first glimmer comes, then a glow
filters through the misty trees,
then the bold sun rises, then
everyone starts bustling about.

And that first crazy optimist, can we
forgive her for thinking, dawn by dawn,
“Hey, I made that happen!
And oh, life is so fine.”

Copyright © 2022 by Kim Stafford.
Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 27, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.