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Love of Nature Inspires Bequest of Homestead
Susanne Dowouis developed an affinity for the land as a small child. Every summer, she and her sister, Eve, would attend Camp Gay Valley and visit their maternal grandparents at their home on top of Caesar’s Head Mountain in South Carolina. Atop Caesar’s Head, they could see Dismal Valley down below, which their aunt would eventually deed to a conservation organization. Leaving a legacy was a family value. Early in the 20 th century, Susanne and Eve’s great uncle, Dr. William Chambers Coker, started the well-known and highly regarded Coker Arboretum at the University of North Carolina.
Her family’s commitment to conservation stuck with Susanne throughout her life. So it’s no wonder she bequeathed her property in St. Tammany Parish to the Land Trust for Louisiana when she died last year. The 20-acre property on Three Rivers Road in Covington is part of a larger complex of wooded acreage along the Tchefuncte River that offers a refuge for wildlife and flood storage for the surrounding community. The Land Trust is protecting the property from further development through a conservation easement, and selling the property and homestead with those restrictions through its Trade Lands program.
Susanne loved this place and would come home to it many times throughout her life. Upon graduation from high school, Susanne took off for college and pursued her interests in the Civil Rights movement and communal life. It was during this time that her parents purchased the property as an escape from the grit of New Orleans, where they lived, to find respite on the shaded banks of the Tchefuncte River. Susanne eventually made her way back to Louisiana and it was on these 20 acres where she and her then-husband, Murph Dowouis, settled down to raise their son, Ammon.
A spiritual person, Susanne became a Buddhist when Ammon was a young boy. Her practice deepened upon young Ammon’s untimely death, and Susanne shared her beloved 20 acres as a Buddhist sanctuary with the community. Thus, many in the Covington and Greater New Orleans area remember Susanne’s 20 acres as a place of contemplation and spiritual growth. The walking paths and pond remain integral features of the property and offer peace and tranquility that is hard to find in an urban setting.
The Land Trust for Louisiana is deeply grateful for the tremendous gift Susanne has left our organization and committed to seeing her legacy of land conservation continue on in perpetuity.
We Preserve and Protect . . .
Land Trust for Louisiana protects and restores plants, animals, and natural communities on high quality natural areas. We also help protect working forests and other forestland that provides scenic value, recreational access, water quality improvements and other benefits that society depends on. The Abita Creek Flatwoods Preserve is one such example.
Louisiana’s agricultural lands are essential to supporting our economy and perpetuating our culture and way of life. Farmland in some parts of our state is particularly vulnerable to development pressures that cause land to be turned over to other uses, degrading natural resources, local economies, and community unity. Land Trust for Louisiana works closely with landowners to help ensure the preservation of farmland. Live Oak Farm is one example.
Louisiana is a water-rich state with an amazing number of rivers, streams, lakes and other water resources that are used for a variety of purposes and enjoyed by its residents. The Land Trust for Louisiana has been working on our coast to secure and restore key marshlands across the New Orleans Land Bridge (NOLB), an important hurricane evacuation route. These wetlands provide important habitat for many fish and wildlife species, including the endangered Gulf sturgeon and manatee. They also serve as a critical barrier to storm surge that enters Lake Pontchartrain during hurricanes and other storm events.
Land Trust for Louisiana works with partners in urban areas to preserve and maintain green spaces for recreation, water management, and other urban uses. These special places offer respite for many city residents and families who might otherwise not have a connection to nature. Learn more about our water management project in the Broadmoor neighborhood in New Orleans.
We are are comprised of Louisiana residents who want to protect our valuable natural and agricultural lands.
Land Trust for Louisiana (LTL) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit land conservation organization.
We work cooperatively with local communities, landowners, businesses, and other non-profits to achieve many goals. By working with us, our partners are able to protect river-banks, manage storm-water, create wildlife corridors, protect habitat for migrating birds, and much, much more. We also help to create greenways and blueways and to provide much needed open space for people to work and play.
We are not a government organization. – We work cooperatively with governments, land-owners, and other such agencies as needed.
LTL is accredited by the national Land Trust Alliance Commission and is state certified by the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. Land Trust for Louisiana is guided by the Land Trust Alliance’s Standards and Practices.
“A cold wind was blowing from the north, and it made the trees rustle like living things.”