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Upstate Forever's Nationally Accredited Land Trust closed several significant conservation easements towards the end of 2018, bringing our total protected land to 21,949.7 acres across the Upstate. These special properties, which are now protected forever from development, include park lands, headwaters, scenic views, and historic Cherokee artifacts. Many thanks to our generous funders and dedicated conservation partners for helping complete these easements!
Two permanently protected properties will be added to expand Paris Mountain State Park, thanks to generous support from Michelin in the form of an Environmental Stewardship Grant.
Upstate Forever has worked closely with the Friends of Paris Mountain State Park to protect 160 acres adjacent to the existing State Park. The Friends group plans to donate the property to the parks department to add to the existing Paris Mountain State Park property. The much-needed addition will allow the Parks service to expand recreational opportunities at Paris Mountain.
The McGee Tract enlarges Paris Mountain State Park by an additional 33 acres on its eastern side. This mid-successional eastern temperate deciduous forest is dominated by Chestnut oak, Tulip poplar, Pignut hickory, and Red maple trees.
The site protects natural habitat for fish, wildlife, and plants including eighteen threatened or endangered species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and plants. A freshwater tributary to Buckhorn Creek meanders through the woodland, the hilly terrain often blanketed by wild blueberry and butterfly pea. This extraordinary site is a treasure for park visitors seeking the quiet untrammeled beauty of nature.
Oconee Town was a thriving Cherokee village for which Oconee County was later named. Situated along a main trading path that extended from modern Charleston all the way to the Mississippi River trail, it was an important trading post until the Creeks vanquished the Cherokees in 1759.
The village site was later the campsite for British and colonial forces during the French and Indian War, and many of SC's heroes during the Revolutionary War, including Pickens, Marion, Moultrie, Williamson, and others.
The Oconee Town tract will add 55 acres to the adjacent Oconee Station State Historic Site, which includes two of the Upstate's oldest buildings: Oconee Station, a stone blockhouse used as an outpost by the S.C. State Militia from about 1792 to 1799, and the William Richards House, both listed on the National Register of Historic Sites.
Nestled within the Clemson Forest, the Hartwell Headwaters shares shoreline and feeds streams into Lake Hartwell, an important drinking water supply. Two springs originate on the property, beautiful waterfalls, and a diverse assemblage of wildlife habitats are included in this 77-acre property. This project also protects its mature, native tree canopy adjacent to Clemson Forest.
The Hartwell Headwaters site will continue to maintain high quality water feeding Lake Hartwell because of protections within the conservation easement. This action by this private landowner benefits more than 200,000 people who utilize the Lake as their drinking water supply.
This property is protected forever, and together with Clemson Forest, makes a significant stride in maintaining wildland areas that keep our waters clean, especially the drinking water supply for nearby residents.
55 Camperdown, an important gateway to Falls Park once slated for development, is now protected forever. This project was successful only because of the generous gifts and dedication of time from Greenville Women Giving, the Carolina Foothills Garden Club, the Community Foundation of Greenville, and the City of Greenville. It's truly a step in the right direction to protect our City parks forever.
A 46-acre tract of land along Altamont Road on the top of Paris Mountain with incredible views, this property was long slated to become a residential subdivision. Thanks to the vision of a conservation-minded landowner who partnered with Upstate Forever, this important tract, which provides critical deciduous forest habitat for native plants and wildlife, will be protected in its natural state forever.
For more information about these properties or Upstate Forever's Land Conservation program, contact Scott Park at firstname.lastname@example.org