Protecting Our Unique Character

About Upstate Forever

Upstate Forever is a nonprofit conservation organization that protects critical lands, waters, and the unique character of Upstate South Carolina. 

Over the past two decades, we have worked to protect the natural assets that make the Upstate so special — our farmlands, forests, natural areas, rivers, and clean air. We are committed to ensuring that our communities are vibrant and retain their green spaces, outdoor heritage, and unique identities in the face of rapid development and significant sprawl.

Upstate Forever works with landowners, communities, and local stakeholders to balance growth with the protection of our natural resources. Our vision is an environmentally healthy, economically prosperous Upstate that offers a high quality of life now and for future generations.

We focus our work on the ten counties of Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg and Union.

Our primary goals are to:

  • Protect land and water
  • Foster a love of place
  • Convey the importance of now
  • Serve as a trusted community champion

History and successes

Founded in 1998 by Greenville attorney Brad Wyche, Upstate Forever now has offices in Greenville and Spartanburg and a staff of 18. We've spent the past 19 years forging relationships with business leaders and municipalities. Our reputation for common-sense solutions has earned us wide-spread respect across the Upstate region and beyond.

Upstate Forever's track record of success includes:

  • Playing a key role in securing and opening of the Swamp Rabbit Trail, which has revolutionized Greenville and Travelers Rest
  • Preventing a coal ash landfill in Pickens County and a mega-landfill in Spartanburg County
  • Mobilizing public opposition to stop Duke Energy’s proposed substation and transmission line across the Blue Ridge Mountains
  • Protecting more than 21,500 acres on 112 properties across the Upstate through voluntary land easement as the first nationally accredited land trust organization in South Carolina

More success stories

Message from the Founder

Financial Reports

 
Photo: Ed Land

What’s Happening

Job

Job Openings at Upstate Forever

Upstate Forever is hiring for two positions in the Clean Water and Land Protection programs. Join our team of dedicated conservationists and our tireless efforts to protect critical lands, waters, and the unique character of the Upstate of South Carolina.

Upstate

Upstate Forever receives $1 million gift

Upstate Forever is thrilled to announce it has received a $1 million gift in honor of Marjorie E. Schmidt, a longtime Greenville resident with a heart for nature and a humble, giving spirit.

GILKEY

GILKEY CREEK & GRASSY KNOB TRACTS PROTECTED

Upstate Forever now protects nearly 500 acres on two tracts —the 353-acre Grassy Knob tract in Pickens County and the 135-acre Gilkey Creek tract in Cherokee County— through wetland and stream mitigation partnerships.

IT’S NOW OR NEVER

Preserve our region’s character

Growth in the Upstate is skyrocketing. We must act immediately to protect our region’s natural resources and unique character from unchecked sprawl and short-sighted development practices. Join our mailing list to receive news, updates, and action alerts.

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