The Upstate Update is a digital newsletter curated and shared each month that offers insights into Upstate Forever's recent work, highlights upcoming events and volunteer opportunities, and shares other conservation and advocacy news.
We post the Upstate Update here on the Upstate Forever blog each month. If you would like to receive the Upstate Update directly in your email inbox, please sign up for the mailing list.
Exciting news! Saluda Grade rail line agreement reached
We are pleased to announce that an agreement with Norfolk Southern has been reached to sell the 31-mile rail line for use as a recreational rail trail.
The Saluda Grade line connects Upstate South Carolina and Western North Carolina, traveling through Inman, Campobello, Landrum, Tryon, Saluda, and Zirconia. Along its route, the trail will feature rural scenery, vibrant small towns, historic landmarks, and gorgeous nature preserves, lakes, and waterfalls. It is expected to be a multi-use trail that will be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities.
Read more about what's next
Sign up for Saluda Grade email updates
Also in the March Upstate Update:
Our team is growing!
We're seeking a Land Policy Grassroots Specialist to join our team. This role will be responsible for community engagement and outreach efforts to mobilize citizens to advocate for land policies that balance economic development with other community priorities, including access to safe green spaces and clean water, expanded housing and mobility options, and/or more equitable outcomes for all Upstate residents. Please apply by 5:00 pm on March 31
SC Legislative Updates
This year's legislative session is at its halfway point. With proposals that advance land conservation, farmland protections, and clean energy initiatives, we are very optimistic about the outcome of this year’s legislative work. If you're not already, be sure to sign up for our Legislative Updates to receive a weekly email with what you need to know from Columbia. Catch up on the latest news
Mark your calendar for these upcoming events
The first day of spring is just around the corner, and so is an exciting roster of events:
- Spartanburg County’s 15th Annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event and Rain Barrel Sale - Saturday, March 25 from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm at the County’s Administration Building, 366 N. Church Street | Just in time for spring cleaning and gardening, gather toxic waste products (think cleaners or pesticides) and bring them in to ensure they are responsibly disposed of. Learn more
- Barrels & Beer Workshop – Saturday, April 1 from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm at Carolina Bauernhaus Brewery & Winery, Anderson | This fun event hosted by Anderson Soil & Water Conservation District and Anderson Regional Joint Water System is back for its fifth year! Participants will learn how to install a household rain barrel — and have the chance to paint it to their heart's content. Our Clean Water team will be on hand, too! Purchase your rain barrel ticket here
- Rocky River Nature Park Volunteer Workday - Friday, April 14 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm | Join us for a morning of invasive species management at this 131-acre protected park. Register now
- SC Native Plant Society Spring Plant Sale - Saturday, April 15 from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm at Conestee Park (840 Mauldin Road, Greenville) | This is a great opportunity to purchase native shrubs, trees, perennial wildflowers, ferns, vines, and grasses for your landscape. A list of available plants will be available in early April so you can make a plan before you go. Learn more
- Environmental Art and Music Festival - Saturday, April 22 from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm at the Piedmont Physic Garden | This special event celebrates the natural beauty and abundant resources of Union County. It will feature local artists, live music, exhibits from SCDNR, handcrafted items for sale, food trucks, garden tours. and an assortment of childrens' activities. Learn more
- ForeverGreen Annual Awards Luncheon – Monday, April 24 from 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Embassy Suites Verdae Blvd, Greenville | Join us as we honor several individuals who have made significant contributions in fields related to conservation and sustainable growth, in addition to a celebration of Upstate Forever's 25th anniversary. Purchase tickets
- Spartanburg Criterium - Friday, April 28 from 3:15 pm on - Downtown Spartanburg | Come say hello at the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System Criterium. Races start at 3:15 pm and we'll be watching the action from the Upstate Forever tent all day long. Stop by for a chat with our team and some refreshments. Learn more
Read more in this month's email newsletter