President's Update - 5-23-18

I’ve lived in a lot of places, but I can’t remember a place where every few days I hear someone say, “Thank goodness we found The Landings and didn’t move to…”! I doubt if anyone could list all the things that make this place special (the location, the people, the beauty, etc.), but I have a feeling that one of the major things that makes us all happy to be here is the fact that we all get a chance to give back.

Did you know that 73% of our households provide financial support to organizations serving people in the Savannah area? Or that 61% of our households have one, and frequently two, individuals who volunteer their time to an organization, or that our neighbors fill more than 1,000 leadership positions in area and island organizations?* [This just in – did you know that Landlovers volunteers raised $125K for awards, scholarships, and grants this year?]

Studies have shown that helping others makes you happier, and it’s not just the good feeling that doing good provides. It’s the fact that the bonds formed while rolling up your sleeves and pitching in are far deeper and more lasting than those from merely socializing. The most interesting people you meet don’t usually tell you what they used to do, they tell you what they did today! And, of course, there’s no lack of opportunities for socializing here once the work’s done.

So why do so many of you volunteer? Maybe it’s more than just the people and the place, but the process. There’s this group called New Neighbors that provides a terrific service by giving folks a smorgasbord of opportunities for socializing, engaging with others and the area, and getting to know a manageable-sized group of people who are also new. It’s here that initial friendships are made and social connections begin forming. But NN also provides so many opportunities to get engaged, and their “graduates” provide the new volunteers that feed so many organizations on and off the island. These organizations are glad to have your help and are not shy about asking! Have you ever heard something like this over your shoulder? “Oh, you know how to do [that]?? I have just the person you need to meet – in fact, she’s right over there – let me introduce you!” And voila’, a new volunteer is engaged. So perhaps the answer is, if you’re not happy, go help someone else! And if you need help yourself, call Neighbors Helping Neighbors – they will quite literally be happy to help!

* https://landings.org/news/2016/02/26/economic-impact-study-received

By now, I’m sure we’ve all seen the clearing of the five parcels that make up the Indigo Hall development. As the plans called for, the site has been cleared of trees, and it’s looking pretty bare. Fortunately, after extended negotiations between The Landings Association and Indigo Hall (now Equus Development Partners), they have agreed to fund additional landscaping on TLA property that helps screen the view from Diamond Causeway. As you drive by, take a look at the evergreen ground plantings that have been installed around the large trees on our property. Once the project is complete, they will fund installation of another 15’ swath of buffering landscaping on Landings property to screen views of their parking lots. As with the landscaping just installed, they will provide the funds, but TLA will direct the purchase and installation by BrightView to make the best of the situation during and after construction. The facility will be known as “Thrive on Skidaway”. Google it for more information.

On the subject of Incorporation, Governor Deal signed the bill on May 7, with the result that the question of whether the island should incorporate as a city will be on the ballot at the general election on November 6. Kathy Siler continues to lead the Incorporation Study Committee in addressing some issues in more detail in preparation for town hall meetings in the fall. A number of people on her committee (including Kathy herself) have served as Mayors, City Council Members, or City Managers in a variety of states. They have met with or talked with the managers of seven new GA cities and are compiling their advice to be able to pass on as an aid to the elected officials in getting the city up and running quickly should the voters say yes. There are a lot of “lessons learned” to pass along!

And I remind you that our Osprey chick is getting bigger every day. It probably will fledge (take that first flight!) sometime around June 11 if our predictions are correct. That tree might not make another season, so tune in to landingsbirdcam.com while the action lasts.

You might want to know that the Landings Bird Cam is a project of Skidaway Audubon. The cameras are funded by them and their generous supporters, and all the work of mounting and keeping them in good repair is done by community volunteers. At the request of TLA, Comcast provides the internet connection for free, and The Landings Club allows access to the tree which is on Club property. Finally, a set of volunteers from all over the country are coordinated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and have access to the camera controls (when it’s their scheduled time) to keep track of the action. Many of us here on the island, and many thousands more from around the world, are very thankful for this rare opportunity to get a glimpse into the lives of these magnificent creatures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rick Cunningham
President, The Landings Association