Reaching the Wider Community

Land trusts like Aiken Land Conservancy are known, correctly, as organizations that conserve land. But, as many reading this know, the broader community must also value conservation if organizations like ours are to make long-lasting impacts in our society. For this reason, ALC has prioritized efforts to raise awareness about our local natural areas, emphasized the importance of conservation in all of our lives, educated individuals and groups about how conservation easements work, and empowered individuals to improve our community for both people and wildlife.

Each month, ALC has organized and led a hike at a different natural area around Aiken. Since the last newsletter was published, hikes have taken place at the Henderson Heritage Preserve, Boyd Pond Park, Silver Bluff Audubon Sanctuary, Redcliffe Plantation State Historic Park, and Stevens Creek Heritage Preserve. With the exception of hikes that required pre-registration, the number of participants has exceeded our expectations and continues to grow over time. The January hike at Silver Bluff Audubon Sanctuary, led by Sanctuary manager and ALC Board member, Brandon Heitkamp, had over 60 participants. Incredibly, the hike at Redcliffe Plantation SHP had between 80 and 90 participants, most of whom had never been to the property before. These hikes have become great opportunities for people to make friends, share ideas, learn new things, and deepen their love for nature and history.

In addition, our Executive Director, Peter Kleinhenz has written a column for the Aiken Standard each month called “The Places You Love.” Each column covers a natural area with a story to tell, in a further effort to raise awareness about the wonders of the Aiken region and about the Aiken Land Conservancy. Advertisements in The Aiken Horse and at local equestrian events have reached even more people. ALC volunteer, Lendy Brown, generously donated a profile of ALC in the e-news leading up to the Grand Prix Eventing Showcase, along with a sponsorship at the event itself.

Finally, ALC has been busy presenting about the organization and about conservation in general to a diverse range of audiences. Peter presented to a Conservation Biology class at USC-Aiken, to a local North American Butterfly Association chapter known as the “Butterfly Monarchy,” Aiken Garden Club, Aiken Rotary Club, and the Aiken Senior Men’s Club. Each of these presentations offers the opportunity to share the good work that ALC accomplishes with new audiences and to educate people about how conservation impacts them directly.

Thank you to all of those who have spread the word about our hikes, shared our column or advertisements with friends, or told friends about an ALC presentation! The support means so much to us!