More than 700 acres in Anderson, Greenville, Pickens Counties recently protected by Upstate Forever

February 15th, 2023

We're thrilled to announce the recent protection of six properties totaling 735 acres in Anderson, Greenville, and Pickens Counties. These lands have been permanently protected through conservation easements, voluntary legal agreements between landowners and Upstate Forever's nationally accredited land trust.

Eastatoe Headwaters is a roughly 26-acre property located in the Eastatoe Valley of Pickens County. You may recognize this property as the site of Upstate Forever’s 2022 Annual Meeting.

The Eastatoe Headwaters property is part of a high-priority conservation area in Pickens County

Located near the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway, the Eastatoe Valley lies in the shadow of the Wadakoe mountain range and is an area of conservation focus in part for its rare plant habitat, geologic properties, and scenic vistas. The Eastatoe Headwaters tract is part of a growing swath of protected lands in the area, including the directly adjacent Jocassee Gorges Wilderness Area managed by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, as well as nearby properties preserved by The Nature Conservancy. The conservation easement recently placed on the Eastatoe Headwaters was made possible through the generous support of the South Carolina Conservation Bank.

“We believe that this special place should remain a source of clean water and habitat for wild and agricultural animals for future generations,” said landowners Mark and Starla Taylor.

Executive Director Andrea Cooper and Eastatoe Headwaters landowner Mark Taylor

Five Oaks Farm is 401 acres of forest and pastureland with more than a mile of frontage along the Saluda River located in Southern Greenville County. The landowners plan to maintain the property for hunting and wildlife management while encouraging native grassland habitat.

Originating in the scenic valleys of Pickens and Greenville Counties, the Saluda River is the longest river flowing through the Upstate and borders six SC counties before joining the Congaree River near Columbia. For its immeasurable value to water quality both in the Upstate and downstream — as well as its rich wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities — properties like this one along the Saluda River are an area of area for Upstate Forever’s conservation efforts.

Five Oaks Farm contains more than a mile of frontage along the Saluda River

Beaverdam Creek Preserve is located just outside of the City of Greer in Greenville County. This 33-acre property boasts significant frontage along Beaverdam Creek — a tributary of the South Tyger River — as well as wildlife habitat and 11 acres of wetlands. A conservation easement ensures this land’s conservation values and scenic views are protected in an area facing extreme development pressure. Funding from the Upstate Land Conservation Fund and the US EPA under a Section 319 Grant through SCDHEC contributed to the success of this project.

Protected wildlife habitat and wetlands in the Beaverdam Creek Preserve

Bryson Children’s Nature Walk is a 63-acre property home to an impressive network of beaver ponds and which encompasses headwaters of Six Mile Creek in Pickens County. The Town of Six Mile — which now owns and will manage the property — plans to open the land as a public park and outdoor classroom for students at the adjacent Six Mile Elementary School in the future. Amenities planned for the park include trails, a boardwalk, pond overlook, and natural habitat preservation. This project received support from the Upstate Land Conservation Fund.

Bryson Children's Nature Walk, left, will offer educational opportunities for students at Six Mile Elementary School, right

Blackwell Farm consists of approximately 50 acres near Tigerville in Northern Greenville County. The property contains meadows fringed with hardwood and pine forests, diverse plant species and wildlife habitat, and tributaries of the Tyger River. The protection of Blackwell Farm will ensure the land retains its natural qualities in an unzoned part of the county experiencing intense development pressure. Funding from Greenville Women Giving, the South Carolina Conservation Bank, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Regional Conservation Partnership Program, and a reimbursement from the US EPA under a Section 319 Grant through SCDHEC made this project possible.

The protection of Blackwell Farm helps safeguard natural areas in a rapidly developing area of Northern Greenville County

Also recently protected by a generous landowner who wishes to remain anonymous is a 161-acre property in Anderson County.

We are tremendously grateful to the landowners, funders, and partners who helped make these projects happen! 

About OUR Land Conservation work

Since its founding in 1998, Upstate Forever has permanently protected 30,000 acres through conservation easements across the ten-county Upstate region of Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg, and Union Counties. Conservation easements are voluntary contracts that allow the landowner to legally restrict certain land uses from occurring on their property, such as the development of residential subdivisions, commercial or industrial operations, while allowing traditional rural land uses, such as farming, grazing, hunting, and timbering to continue. This agreement is permanent and remains with the land even after it has been sold or willed to heirs. Learn more

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