The Hilton Head Island Land Trust was founded in 1990 and is dedicated to the preservation of the natural beauty and ecological integrity of our Island.
They works with landowners to protect important open spaces and wildlife habitats, and also offers education and outreach programs to the community.
The Land Trust’s focus includes protecting local beaches, dunes, maritime forests, salt marshes, and freshwater wetlands. These ecosystems are vital to the health of our island and its wildlife. The Trust is also working to create a network of greenways and trails that will connect all of our protected lands and provide opportunities for recreation and enjoyment of the natural world.
Their protected properties:
This earthen fort, built in 1864 during the Civil War by the 32nd U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment (Union) protected the freedmen’s village of Mitchelville. Fort Howell is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and on the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom sponsored by the National Park Service. Visitors are welcome to visit the Fort for free during daylight hours and the Land Trust regularly provides guided tours of the Fort through a partnership with the Coastal Discovery Museum.
WHOOPING CRANE POND CONSERVANCY
This 137-acre wetlands conservancy is located within Hilton Head Plantation. Formed as a shallow valley between ancient shoreline dunes, it consists primarily of freshwater black gum, or tupelo, forested swamp and open savannah swamp. A 1,100 foot elevated boardwalk allows access to the heart of the swamp. Three additional trails allow further viewing of the various habitats.
The 51-acre Cypress Conservancy is located within Hilton Head Plantation. This conservancy is a forested freshwater wetland complex containing the only remaining, naturally-occurring stand of Bald Cypress tress on Hilton Head. This is an elevated boardwalk that leads through the wetlands to an area containing most of the Bald Cypress trees.
Pedal in Nature
NORTHRIDGE CONSERVANCY TRACTS
This 64-acre wetlands habitat rests at the northern end of Hilton Head Island. The tract protects three natural plant communities found on Sea Islands:
- an oak and loblolly pine dominated upland
- a transitional pine and saw palmetto flatwoods
- a live oak and black gum freshwater wetlands
The tract also contains two freshwater ponds. Because of the delicate nature of this protected area, the Land Trust leaves this area undisturbed.
MUSEUM STREET CONSERVANCY DISTRICT
This 3.3 acre wetlands habitat lays at the northern end of Hilton Head Island. Because of the delicate nature of this protected area, the Land Trust leaves this area in an undisturbed state.
The Hilton Head Island Land Trust is working to preserve the natural beauty of our island for future generations. Donations from individuals, businesses, and foundations support the Hilton Head Island Land Trust. If you love Hilton Head Island’s natural beauty, be sure to support the Hilton Head Island Land Trust!
If you would like to learn more about the Hilton Head Island Land Trust, please visit hhilandtrust.org.