COVID Weekly Update: May 22, 2020

May 22nd, 2020

Like so many organizations, Upstate Forever temporarily closed its offices in mid-March and staff started teleworking. I traded my 45-minute commute for a much shorter kitchen-to-home-office scenario. Remote work for my husband and homeschooling for my kids began around the same time.

As we settled into our quarantine existence, we replaced time typically spent in a car with hours exploring the Clemson Experimental Forest. The Forest is an Upstate jewel — 17,500 acres of trees, trails, and waterfalls — and I’m fortunate enough to have access to it without even stepping foot in a car. Sadly, many Upstate residents cannot say the same. How many people are so lucky to live so close to such a magical outdoor place?

As I enjoyed an early morning trail run today, I was struck by the importance that places like the Forest play in our lives — especially in times of uncertainty and distress. And convinced that we all deserve such places. While I am always grateful to live so close to the Forest, it is easy to forget that not everyone is so fortunate.

I shared some more thoughts on Upstate Forever’s blog this week about what nature has meant to me during these difficult times — and why this situation has served as unexpected inspiration for the work that we do. Read more

As our Land Planning & Policy team advocates for a more balanced approach to development, we must remember that access to clean and safe outdoor spaces for Upstate residents is a critical component of that effort. As always, we’ll keep you informed as our work continues.

Be well,

Lisa Hallo, Land Policy Director

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Also in this week's email update: 

  • Watch: Conservation Webinars
    The SC Conservation Coalition has been bringing you weekly webinars about conservation issues in our state, including two featuring UF staff. You can watch recordings of "Talking Trash" with Shelley Robbins and "Will SC Have Enough Water in 20 Years?" with Megan Chase. 
  • What can be done about flooding?
    Heavy rainfall led to flooding across much of the Upstate this week — and not for the first time in recent months. The good news is there are stormwater solutions that can be adopted at both the local and state levels. Our Clean Water Advocate Megan Chase explains more on the Upstate Forever blog. Read the blog post

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