I spent the last few days near Hampton, SC photographing several privately held properties that were protected, in part, through funding provided by the South Carolina Conservation Bank. These images are for an upcoming book which will be published in early summer of this year.
The purpose of the book will be to let South Carolinians know what the South Carolina Conservation Bank is all about and to attempt to garner new support for it from our state legislature. With the tough economic times that we are now facing in South Carolina, funding for the Conservation Bank has already been cut this year and several properties –totalling thousands of acres– that were about to be protected through conservation easements have now been lost (or put on hold) until the funding that is needed is once again available. All efforts should be made to guarantee that the momentum that the SCCB has been building over the past couple of years isn't lost.
On Sunday morning, I stood in front of this magnificent 26 acre duck pond that you see in the image above. My heart was filled with gratitude for the couple who decided to make the right decision to protect it for the long run. The pond was covered with wood ducks, wading birds and migratory songbirds which filled the air with their joyous music. As the morning began to warm up, the sound of a wide variety of frogs swelled up in a chorus that was nearly deafening.
Regardless of our economic situation, special places such as these much continue to be protected. If these habitats are lost, we will continue to lose our connection to creation and forget where came from; which, in my mind is much more devastating type of bankruptcy that no amount of money can ever resolve.