This year, the Mast General Store celebrates Land Trust Day June 1, marking the 16th year for the event. Land conservancy partners will be in each location sharing news of their latest easements, upcoming hikes and outings, and how you can help save open spaces. At the end of the day, Mast Store will donate 20 percent of the day’s sales to the Congaree Land Trust.

John Muir said, “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”

While land trusts save beautiful places, the work they do is important on many levels. Aside from ensuring clean water and wildlife habitat, land trusts also help family farms stay in the family and culturally important pieces of land remain in their original states.

“Land Trust Day means a lot to me as it gives us the ability to support local organizations and make a difference in our communities,” said Lisa Cooper, president of Mast Store. “I am so very proud of what these organizations do for all of us by protecting the land for future generations. Highlighting our partnerships on this day enhances awareness of how land trusts work for all of us.”

This year, the store is inviting guests to round up their purchases on that day to make an even bigger impact.

Columbia will partner with the Congaree Land Trust which currently holds more than 72,000 acres. Their latest project is the Dixie Plantation. At more than 1,000 acres, Dixie Plantation is characterized by rolling hills, forests, wetlands, open land, and a 19-acre pond in Sumter County. It is home to a number of different tree species and provides a habitat for wildlife as well as serves as a significant historic and geographic property. This second conservation easement with Dixie Plantation adds to a previously protected tract, creating a landscape scale project of considerable conservation value for the Cowassee Basin. A forestry stewardship program is also in place, as well as contiguous corridors for wildlife habitat, buffers for waterways, and acres of outdoor space for recreational activities, including 10 miles of walking trails.

Stop by any Mast Store June 1 to learn more about land trusts and to support conservation efforts in the local area. For more information, call the Mast Store in Columbia at 803-771-2300.

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