Savannah, GA (March 25, 2014) – Skidaway Island, home of The Landings community since 1978, is reached by traveling the Diamond Causeway over vast expanses of protected salt marsh laced with tidal estuaries. And then, over a newly opened fixed bridge that spans the Intracoastal Waterway, there are views of Skidaway River to the north and Ossabaw Sound to the southwest.
Residents coming home are aware of changing tides and seasons, reflected in the color of the marsh grasses, as well as boats and birds. These scenes are also a favorite of our artists and photographers.
The Landings was developed in harmony with Skidaway Island’s natural environment. Trees were preserved, resulting in a centuries-old live oak canopy that provides shelter for birds and shade for people. Water runoff was managed by creating a lagoon system that now provides excellent views for homeowners and feeding grounds for water fowl, as well as good fishing. Native plants were left undisturbed, saw palmetto, sparkleberry, yaupon holly and wax myrtle, among them, to provide food and nest sites for more than 120 species of birds. Little wonder we attract so many active bird watchers. There are no docks to mar the view at water’s edge or scar the salt marsh, a protected environment and one of the most important and richest food sources on earth. Instead, two marinas provide access to all the water around us. When possible, dead trees, snags, remain to provide a food source for woodpeckers and other birds and homes for cavity nesters. There are no fences on property perimeters allowing wildlife to move at will, and many residents see fox, otters, mink, as well as the more usual raccoons, squirrels and the ubiquitous white tailed deer.
The Landings is a virtual nature preserve, a maritime forest, and a new environment for most of its residents. Two garden clubs help members to make sense of what will grow here and offer advice and programs. The University of Georgia Agriculture Extension offers a master gardening class most years for those interested in more advanced training. A community garden, Skidaway Farms, has a children’s garden and plots for rent. Water conservation is an important issue and so is conservation gardening, and learning to plant appropriately for this unique environment.
Many environmental projects are volunteer driven, with new projects always in the works. One volunteer group has taken on the Chinese Tallow Tree and over the past three years removed or killed more than 60,000 of these invasives which threaten to become a monoculture. Another volunteer team operates under a DNR permit to rescue Terrapin Turtle eggs from sand bunkers on several golf holes that run along the western marsh and move them to nearby nesting boxes. A group monitors bluebird houses along a trail that runs adjacent to the fairways on each of the six golf courses. The courses themselves are all Certified Audubon Sanctuaries; a program started in 1998, and coordinated between Landings Club staff and Skidaway Audubon volunteers. Residents formed a Bottle Brigade to pick up litter throughout the community. And one of the garden clubs has a monthly pick up along Diamond Causeway, helping to keep the salt marsh pristine. A pollinator garden and designated wildlife sanctuary, the Sparrow Field, has become a nationally recognized site for monarch butterfly study and a master gardener site. Coastal Conservation Association boasts more than 400 members in the Skidaway Chapter and offers many programs to strengthen onshore and off shore fishing, as well as restore lagoon banks.
Sharing the island with The Landings are two important assets with an environmental focus – the 500-acre Skidaway Island State Park and the UGA campus that includes the Skidaway Island Institute of Oceanography and the UGA Marine Extension & Aquarium. Both offer programs and volunteer opportunities for those interested in a deeper appreciation of the island’s ecology.
The Landings, marshalling all this activity and island wide resources, has embarked on a multi-year program to become a Certified Sustainable Community. It is estimated that more than 1,000 residents are involved in one or more of the existing efforts, an indication environmental stewardship at The Landings is and will continue to be a priority that defines the community.
About The Landings:
The Landings on Skidaway Island is located less than ten miles south of historic Savannah. Named “one of the nation’s best residential communities” by the Urban Land Institute, and "The Best Planned Community”" by Savannah Magazine, the community has been run by its debt-free homeowner’s association for the last 15years. Homes range from $200,000 to $2 million plus. Other resident facilities include 2 deep-water marinas, 40 miles of walking & biking trails, playgrounds, athletic field, dog park, a Village Library and Skidaway Farms, a community garden. Club amenities consist of six championship 18 hole golf courses, 34 tennis courts, five pools (two indoor), four dining clubhouses and a 48,000 sf fitness/wellness center. Additional information is available by calling The Landings Company on 912-598-0500 or 1-800-841-7011.