The North American Land Trust (NALT) is a non-profit organization established in 1992. Its primary mission is to conserve and steward natural and cultural resources through innovative land preservation partnerships. As such, NALT’s mission aligns well with SIPOA’s vision and mission. In 1995, the prior owner of the 20-acre property on which the Lake House sits granted a conservation easement to NALT which limits development of the property and obligates the owner to steward the environment consistent with the goals of NALT. SIPOA inherited those restrictions and obligations when that prior owner donated the property to SIPOA in 1996.
While SIPOA owns the property on which the Lake House sits, NALT holds the development rights granted to it in the conservation easement and enforces the obligations on the landowner to conserve the property in perpetuity. Similarly, SIPOA also holds title to more than 40 green-space properties originally conserved by the Seabrook Island Green Space Conservancy and is subject to restrictions which conserve those properties in their natural state for perpetuity.
Under the terms of the agreement with NALT, SIPOA works with NALT to ensure that uses of the Lake House property are in accordance with the terms of the agreement. To make changes to the Lake House, or surrounding property, SIPOA must first propose those changes to NALT and garner their approval before moving forward. Partnering with NALT to reach an agreement is a requirement…we cannot bypass this step.
Conservation of our natural environment continues to be a high priority for our property owners. Their enjoyment of the Lake House is frequently and intrinsically linked to their enjoyment of the open spaces around the property. As a result, SIPOA’s partnership with NALT is important to ensure that the Lake House and surrounding property are appropriately maintained and continue to meet the original purposes of the community. A stronger working relationship with NALT should ensure that any current or future planning of the Lake House and surrounding property will be beneficial to our property owners and our conservation efforts. NALT’s involvement is not only practical but is wholly consistent with the conservation ethos that is an integral aspect of the Seabrook Island lifestyle.
If you want more information on NALT, and their important work to conserve land for future generations to come, please head to their website.