It’s a Happy New Year at the Land Trust!

As often happens, we closed out 2021 with a hectic closing schedule, but had great projects spread out over the entire year, including the sites pictured in this photo collection. Our 2021 protected lands are dominated by Greenwood County, but include over 600 acres in Anderson County, and almost a hundred acres right near the edge of McCormick County. In all we protected almost 2300 acres in 2021, comprising 8 different projects, thanks to generous land owners, and for funding a lot of this protection we also thank the SC Conservation Bank. We finished the year with over 55,000 acres protected across western South Carolina since our founding in 2000. If you like what we’re doing, please look for the “donate” button on this website, or browse for other ways to support us or to participate in our work. As one of these photos suggests, we need to leave some places where the PAVEMENT ENDS!

01

This cattle farm in Anderson County, protected in early December, includes a remarkable variety of topography and vegetation types managed for timber, wildlife, and happy cows.

02

The undulating ground of this 2021 conservation easement is evidence of old homesite ruins, once a prominent landmark for both free and enslaved people, but now laid to rest, and protected, under nature's more gentle care. And we tip our hats here to the SC Conservation Bank.

03

Habitat edge, fencelines, and small groves of native forest make agricultural settings an important wildlife resource.... exemplified here on our Anderson County conservation easement.

04

The granite boulder in this photo, on a conservation easement closed at the end of 2021, is part of what geologists consider to be "the largest exposed body of low-quartz granitic rock in South Carolina" --maybe an obscure distinction, but we do think this is a rock-star project.

05

The granite boulder in this photo, on a conservation easement closed at the end of 2021, is part of what geologists consider to be "the largest exposed body of low-quartz granitic rock in South Carolina" --maybe an obscure distinction, but we do think this is a rock-star project.

06

Sunflowers, planted for the birds... protected land in Anderson County.

07

A beautifully-wooded slope along the edge of a conservation easement in Greenwood County.

08

Cardinal flower, blooming in August along a tributary to Cuffeytown Creek, on a conservation easement completed in October 2021.

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Cardinal flower, blooming in August along a tributary to Cuffeytown Creek, on a conservation easement completed in October 2021.

10

Woods and waters, carefully cultivated on a Greenwood County conservation easement. Whether wild and natural, or purposely designed and managed, our natural resources deserve protection.

11

Winged sumac, showing off in August (and feeding the birds and the bees) along a powerline and a juvenile planted pine stand. Such open and "early-successional" areas provide great habitat for pollinators and grassland birds... happy to have this site under conservation easement.

12

This rocky-bottomed creek is part of a protection-and-restoration project that has been blessed by the Army Corps of Engineers for mitigation credits. USLT was asked to hold the conservation easement on it, which was finalized this past year, and we are pleased to do so.

13

Ominously guarded by a vine of poison ivy (which is a fine native plant, important for wildlife but not recommended for human handling!) this "gateway to a lost world" is actually a train-trestle tunnel under a now-abandoned railroad that spanned the headwaters of Cuffeytown Creek, one of the most i...

14

Let there always be places where the Pavement Ends. This particular road in lower Greenwood County leads to more than one of our conservation easements, with the property on the right protected in October of this past year.

15

This old road was once walked by settlers and slaves, and by a young man named Benjamin Mays who would become a hero, not only of Greenwood County but the entire U.S. Civils Rights movement. We tip our hats here to the SC Conservation Bank.

16

This is the rare Oglethorpe Oak, found only in a narrow band across the the slate belt soils of the GA-SC piedmont, including one of our 2021 conservation easements. This project, and at least one other of our easements (in McCormick County) protect a fair number of these trees, which have "white oa...

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