It was a long December, but a good one!

THANK YOU for making 2023 one of the best years ever for Upper Savannah Land Trust!

Your support this year, whether tens of dollars or thousands of dollars, was amazing.  I’m grateful to each of you for answering our appeals, sponsoring our events, and renewing your memberships—some of you, multiple times.   Special recognition goes to the good people at Green Diamond, who sustainably manage almost a half-million acres of productive timberland in the U.S. Southeast, with over 5000 acres under USLT conservation easement.  They challenged us to match a $25,000 pledge this year with an equal amount of individual contributions of $1000 or more.  Many of you responded to meet that challenge, and we did—with over $30,000 in large gifts!  We appreciate the small ones too, as the size and reach of our membership is as important to our success and our standing as the size of our stewardship fund is to our financial sustainability.  Below is a formal receipt for your gift, which you may need for tax purposes.

With your support, we have added six new conservation easements to our portfolio this year, the last of which (as I write this) is actually closing tomorrow!  Together, our 2023 easements represent almost two thousand acres in Abbeville, Aiken, Greenwood, and Saluda Counties, and bring our total area protected to over 56,000 acres across South Carolina’s western Piedmont.  Three of those easements were funded by the SC Conservation Bank, and all of them included some combination of unique ecology, significant history, and natural resource protection.  Also, they reserved rights for each landowner to manage and harvest those natural resources thoughtfully and sustainably.

Also this year, thanks to your support, we successfully renewed our Accreditation as a qualified Land Trust, we’ve been awarded some additional grants, and we worked through the planning, paperwork, and budgeting to add a new staff position!  We will have a Happy New Year, and we wish the same for you.


Photo Credits: Kim Fleming (misty road above, also autumn woods, spring woods with wild azalea, and “zombie ant” below).   Other photos by Wade Harrison.