Seabrook Island residents are stewards of over seven miles of pristine barrier island habitat that is host to many species of flora and wildlife.
In the late 1990s, the permanent loss of green space and wild life habitat resulting from “build out” of the Island was recognized by the Board of Directors of the Seabrook Island Property Owners Association (SIPOA). At that time a property owner expressed an interest in transferring several undeveloped properties to SIPOA as a charitable gift. The SIPOA Board created a special committee to establish a mechanism for donation of property to SIPOA which would preserve the land as green space and provided an income tax deduction for the donor.
The SIPOA committee determined that a non-profit corporation, independent of SIPOA, would accomplish that objective. The Seabrook Island Community Foundation was incorporated as a South Carolina non-profit corporation on January 5, 2000. Federal status as a Section 501(c) (3) charitable organization was granted on September 29, 2000. Initial organizing funds were received form a number of Island residents and the SIPOA Board provided a cash contribution and administrative assistance. The Club at Seabrook Island also made a cash contribution. A permanent Board of Directors was selected by the SIPOA committee at which time the committee was disbanded. The organizations name was changed to the Seabrook Island Green Space Conservancy (Conservancy) in February 2003.
Seabrook Island Green Space Conservancy is now governed by a Board of Directors, composed of the Seabrook Island property owners who volunteer to serve for a three year term as a Board member. Since its incorporation, the Conservancy has acquired, by donation or purchase, an estimated 22+ acres of land.
Seabrook Island Green Space Conservancy’s objective is to identify, for potential acquisition, high visibility properties that preserve substantial green space and wild life habitat. Potential “clusters” of properties are of particular interest because of their greater impact on visible green space and usable wild life habitat. Properties may be acquired through charitable donations, bargain sales, or traditional purchase procedures.
In response to the Conservancy’s fundraising efforts, a significant amount of the land has been donated by individual property owners. The Conservancy’s annual Gala provides funds from ticket sales, auction proceeds and corporate donations, to purchase other properites.
After the Conservancy has obtained title to a donated or purchased property, the property is transferred, by deed, to SIPOA for permanent preservation and maintenance as green space. The property is rezoned to a permanent status as green space and is then immune from any further development. All the green space properties are inspected twice a year by both the SIGSC and the SIPOA Environmental Committee to ensure that they remain in a pristine, undeveloped state.