Year Protected: 2009
Land Protected: 99 acres
Shoreline Protected: 357 feet
Public Benefits: Forest, shore bluff, hiking trail
To ensure that their land remain in the same natural state as they had enjoyed it, the late Ernest and Beverly Graham —longtime residents of Shaw Island—bequeathed their 99-acre property to the Preservation Trust in 2009. The Grahams’ will stipulated that the land could not be subdivided, but it did allow one small residence on the corner of the property in the same location as their original home.
Prior to accepting the Grahams’ bequest, the Preservation Trust worked closely with the executor of their estate to draft a conservation easement that permanently memorializes Beverly and Ernest’s intentions for their land. Once this conservation easement was recorded, the Preservation Trust then took ownership of the property. As the landowner, the Preservation Trust is now subject to the restrictions of the conservation easement.
Situated on a bank overlooking Shaw’s Squaw Bay, the original Graham house had fallen into severe disrepair by the time it was conveyed to the Preservation Trust. A project to dismantle and recycle the structure has now been completed. The Preservation Trust’s board of trustees decided this property would be an ideal hiking destination, as it would provide a valuable link between the Shaw Community Center and the Shaw County Park on beautiful Indian Cove. After many hours of volunteer labor (the vast majority of which were provided by school-age kids), a lovely new trail winds through the forest. The Preservation Trust hopes that generations of Shaw residents and visitors will be able to enjoy the Grahams’ lasting gift to the island.
The Graham Preserve’s 1.5 miles of trails are easily accessed from the north and south entrances, as well as from the Shaw County Park east of the preserve.