The County Council will reconsider the Lowcountry Open Land Trust’s (LOLT) request for Greenbelt funds for a conservation easement on Legare Farms as reported in the Post & Courier.   LOLT will submit a request for consideration at the next Greenbelt Board meeting in February.   If approved by the Board, the Council will reconsider the funding at their February or March meeting.


Some Council members are concerned about the lack of public access for private conservation easements.   However public access is only one of the objectives of a Greenbelt program.   The others are:

  • Protect natural environments and wildlife;
  • Improve air and water quality;
  • Protect the unique character of rural communities.

As our analysis of previous Greenbelt funding shows (details here), private conservation easements provide by far the most cost effective way to meet these objectives versus outright property purchases.   Prior projects have also included a good balance of purchases that should allow public access though many of these are limited and have not yet been implemented though funding has been spent.   In addition to its critical location, Legare Farms already provides limited public access providing one of the best Greenbelt deals for Charleston County.


In a recent letter to the Post & Courier, The Greenbelt Bank Board Chairman, Hugh C. Lane Jr., and Greenbelt Bank Advisory Board Chairman, Louise J. Maybank, explained the criteria used to evaluate funding applications.