Beaufort News

Open Land Trust hires new director, launches new project

Patricia R. Kennedy
Patricia R. Kennedy Special to the Packet

The Beaufort County Land Trust is going back to its roots with a new executive director and a new project.

Cindy Baysden, who opened the first trust office in 1992 and was director until 2008, has agreed to return for a year.

"It's been six years, so there's a little bit of a learning curve," Baysden said of her return. "But they wanted someone with some history."

Patty Kennedy, who had been director since 2011, stepped down to spend more time with her family, according to board of trustees president Dean Moss.

Baysden took over the directorship about a week and a half ago, and Kennedy is assisting with the transition, Moss said.

He said Kennedy will continue to work with the county's Rural and Critical Lands Program, which preserves land for parks, open space, scenic vistas and other passive uses.

"We were very unhappy to lose her because we love her and she did a good job, but she needed a break, and luckily Cindy was willing to step in," Moss said.

Attempts to reach Kennedy on Thursday were not successful.

One of Baysden's first projects will be the acquisition of the Lipsitz home on the Beaufort River bluff along Bay Street, Moss said. The purchase will complete the land trust's first project that started in 1971 when John Trask Jr., Marguerite Broz and Betty Waskiewicz purchased property along the bluff to preserve the view. The Lipsitz home is the last remaining structure between the Downtown Beaufort Marina and Ribaut Road.

Moss said the home is under contract, and a fundraising campaign will be launched soon. About $800,000 is needed. The trust wants to finance the original purchase and rent out the home temporarily to help raise money.

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