Fall 2022 Citizens Planning Academy

Apply now for our interactive, introductory course designed to lay the foundation for Greenville, SC-area residents to become more informed, effective, and influential participants in local land use planning and policy decision-making.

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Protecting Our Unique Character

About Upstate Forever

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

Vision: An environmentally healthy, economically prosperous Upstate that offers a high quality of life now and for future generations.

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. 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 21. We've spent the past 21 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 nearly 28,000 acres on 140 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

Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion

Financial Reports

 
Photo: Ed Land

What’s Happening

Saluda

Saluda Grade Rail Trail

We are proud to be among several nonprofits working to transform the inactive Saluda Grade railroad corridor into an approximately 31-mile rail trail that would run from Inman, SC to Zirconia, NC.

Limited

Limited Edition Tees

Wear your Upstate pride while supporting our work. When you make a gift of $35 or more, we'll send you our brand new tee celebrating special species of the Upstate. Available in sage or cream while supplies last.

The

The Upstate Advocate

The latest issue shares the stories of six remarkable women leading the Upstate to a green, vibrant, and prosperous future, in addition to the latest news of our work across the region.

Our

Our advocacy priorities

Our team advocates for local and state policies that will help further our mission to protect the critical lands, waters, and unique character of Upstate South Carolina.

Diversity,

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

To realize our vision of a future that is healthy, vibrant, and prosperous for the Upstate, we know it is vitally important and essential to our core values that we engage the diverse community we serve.

Giving

Giving Back

Your planned gift can help us achieve our goals for current and future generations, while you enjoy a wide variety of tax benefits.

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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