Preserving the natural beauty that surrounds us

May 29th, 2024
By Guest Contributors

This is an excerpt from the Spring/Summer 2024 issue of the Upstate Advocate, Upstate Forever's twice-yearly publication. To read a digital copy of the complete publication, please click here.

Tom and Kathy Baer | Owners of Reeds Run, a recently protected property off Highway 11 in Pickens County

It was our intention from the start to preserve this property, and Upstate Forever gave us the vehicle to accomplish it. We have been familiar with this property for decades, as we have spent much time enjoying Table Rock State Park.

One beautiful fall day, almost three decades ago, our family hiked to the top of Table Rock Mountain. While enjoying the panoramic views, we snapped a picture of our children, not realizing that a portion of the background captured in the picture would become our responsibility to preserve for generations to come. Since that time, we have returned to the top numerous times, and are thankful for the dedication Upstate Forever has in preserving this prestigious landscape.

We feel blessed, as this property went on the market at a time when we were searching for land with “water and a view.” It exceeds our expectations as we enjoy the daily sights and sounds of Reeds Run and another unnamed tributary, as well as the breathtaking view of Table Rock Mountain. 

We are not the only ones that enjoy Reeds Run. A heron frequents the stream in search of nourishment, deer quench their thirst, black bear cool their paws in the heat of summer, and grandchildren explore its wonders in every season.

The breathtaking view of Table Rock Mountain changes on a daily basis. From blue skies and cumulus clouds overhead, to stratus clouds that engulf the entire mountain, each day is a reminder we cannot take anything for granted. We feel strongly that the natural beauty we enjoy is a gift from God, and it is our responsibility to respect and care for all He has created.

We wish to thank all of those at Upstate Forever who helped us accomplish our mission, especially the "boots on the ground," Chris Starker and Lauren Ulich. Through our partnership with Upstate Forever, we are assured this property will continue to be preserved beyond our lifetime for future generations — not only to enjoy the natural beauty and habitat, but to reap the benefits that result from caring for what has been entrusted to us. 

Your support of the Generations Campaign will make it possible for Upstate Forever's nationally accredited land trust to conserve more places like Reeds Run — properties that are critical for the protection of water quality, wildlife habitat, and our vanishing rural landscapes.

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