2020 was a challenging year to say the least! Even during this pandemic year, SERLC managed to protect one thousand seven hundred seventy-seven (1,777) acres of rare habitats, farms, forests, and creeks in North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. Field work needed to be creative and carefully planned. This now brings our cumulative total to 33,429 acres of land protected. And we’re looking forward to protecting more land in the future. More farmland was permanently protected, which we consider a patriotic duty to help the stability of food sources and rural communities in the US. Very rare habitats and species were also given protection. The Covid situation has focused an even brighter spotlight on how crucial natural spaces are for people’s quality of life.
The red-cockaded woodpecker reintroduction became even better with three of the rare birds moved from Francis Marion National Forest to join our existing RCW in the homes that were built for them in the old growth longleaf pines in South Carolina. The planning is beginning for the environmental education center next to a grade school in North Carolina. A Bio-blitz was conducted (covid-style) to learn more about the flora and fauna in this park ahead of the planning. The City of Hardeeville SC will be working with us to create a large public park for walking, biking, picnicking, and other activities. We are focusing on protecting globally-rare Granite Flatrock communities in the Georgia piedmont. Very well-attended volunteer days saved 279 precious eastern hemlock trees from dying from the adelgid diease so that they can continue to be a legacy in our mountains.
Of our 132 projects, 21 are in Alabama, 47 in Georgia, 38 in North Carolina, 23 in South Carolina, and 3 in Tennessee. The projects range from the mountains, ridge & valley, piedmont, and sandhills to the coast.