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April 26th, 2023
By Andrea Cooper
We are proud to share with you the latest issue of the Upstate Advocate, our twice-yearly print publication. Below, read the letter from Executive Director Andrea Cooper introducing this special edition, 25th-anniversary issue which celebrates our organization's successes over the past two-and-a-half decades, in addition to the latest news from our staff.
It seems like yesterday that Upstate Forever was celebrating its 20th anniversary, but here we are celebrating 25 years of success and hard work. We have grown so much since then. Our staff has increased by nine, our protected acreage has expanded by more than 40%, and our impact has stretched across the Upstate and at the State House.
Our work is more important now than ever because there is still so much of our region under threat of rapid, unbalanced growth and sprawl. We know that smart growth and land protection can lead to cleaner water, ample open space, more affordable and vibrant communities, and a higher quality of life for all of us. For those reasons, UF strives to balance growth while maintaining the natural assets that are so special about our area.
After taking a mini-sabbatical in Hawaii, I came back home with a renewed appreciation for the Upstate and all of its natural splendor. There truly is no place like the Upstate, and no matter where I am, I am always reminded of how much there is to protect and cherish here. So, in this issue of the Upstate Advocate, we celebrate 25 years of success by highlighting some of our proudest achievements and by looking ahead to what we have in store for the future.
Of course, we could not do any of this important work without our partners and supporters. Thank you for making our success possible and join us in celebrating all that we have accomplished! Here’s to the next 25 years of balancing growth with the protection of our region’s natural resources.