The following projects list is a representative mix from around the State of examples of the types of projects funded by the South Carolina Conservation Bank.
Stumphouse Mountain/Oconee County
The Stumphouse Mountain property is 439.6 acres of forests, waters and wildlife habitat in the mountains of the Upstate. Along with two contiguous parcels, which are currently under contracts with conservation partners, Stumphouse Mountain will be an unparalled public setting in the Upstate. This park will include connectivity to Stumphouse Tunnel, 3 watershed lakes, Isaquenna Falls, a Rail line path, and will adjoin the Sumter National Forest.
Nine Times/Pickens County
This tract is located near scenic highway 11 in Pickens County. It is a very diverse tract that is home to various threatened species of flora and fauna. A property such as this with dense forests and beautiful views is in constant threat of development. It has 9,900 feet of frontage on Nine Times Creek, and adjoins to the previously approved Nine Times Tract A. This is an outstanding property for hunting and fishing, and it is currently under DNR management.
Asbury Hills Camp & Retreat Center/Greenville County
A Conservation Bank grant was used recently to help purchase a conservation easement on the approximately 2,000-acre Asbury Hills Camp and Retreat Center owned by the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. It comprises most of the view from Caesars Head State Park overlook, one of the most celebrated views in South Carolina. The property is one of the missing links in the Mountain Bridge Wilderness between Caesars Head and the City of Greenville’s Watershed.
Lake Conestee Nature Park/Greenville County
Lake Conestee Nature Park is a 378 acre public tract within Greenville city limits used for recreation and environmental education. This site was once degraded from years of industrial use, but has since been transformed into a nature preserve with over 5 miles of trails and boardwalks. Lake Conestee Nature Park contains grassy meadows, forests, Lake Conestee, and Laurel Creek, all of which provide excellent habitat for observing native wildlife, particularly birds.
Cotton Hill Farms/Chester and York Counties
Cotton Hills Farm is one of the top ecotourism destinations in South Carolina. Located along two creeks that flow into the Broad River, Cotton Hills is a working family farm. The farm rests on a ridge whose altitude allows for cooler temperatures in which peaches thrive. The farm also contains the preservation of Blackjack Soils, the last remnants of the prairie that once covered South Carolina. Cotton Hills Farm has many agricultural based educational opportunities. The farm is in the ever-expanding Charlotte metro region and thus was in danger of development before Conservation Bank funds helped secure its future.
Lake Wateree Boat-in Campsites/Sumter County
This tract is part of the Cowassee Basin and includes a 300′ buffer on all creeks, lakes and roads. The property has 5.6 miles of frontage on Wateree River and 3.8 miles on Beech Creek. The landowner is allowing boat-in only camping in designated areas along the Wateree River “Blue Trail.”
Liberty Hill/Lancaster and Kershaw Counties
This is phase 1 of the Liberty Hill proposal. The property has 14 total miles of waterfront on Lake Wateree and the land area resides in both Lancaster and Kershaw Counties. The property will eventually be turned over to SCDNR and has excellent potential to become a public park and WMA. The Liberty Hill Phase II Tract, with a total of 1,829.59 acres, is part of a purchase that created Liberty Hill WMA in Lancaster and Kershaw Counties. This tract has hardwood coves, mixed pine-hardwood slopes, loblolly pine ridgetops, and open meadows that provide habitat for game animals and an estimated 71 other terrestrial vertebrate and invertebrate priority species, as well as countless plants. Unique granitic boulders dot the landscape, giving the region the nickname, “the Devil’s backbone.” The tract as a whole is the last large block of unprotected lakefront (14 miles) in the region, 8 of which is included in this purchase. There are also unique scenic views including granitic rock outcrops along the shoreline, sandy beaches, high bluffs, and hidden coves.
Four Hole Swamp/Orangeburg County
This magnificent piece of property is contiguous with the 13,000 acre Francis Beidler Forest. The forest is home to one of the largest remaining stands of bald cypress and tupelo gum trees in the world. This area is currently used by two private hunt clubs that lease the rights to deer and hog hunting to 1,000 people a day during hunting season. When not in hunting season, the property is used for natural history education courses conducted by the Audubon Society. The area also has many trails for hiking and biking. Other land uses include scientific research, environmental education courses taught by surrounding schools, wildlife observation, canoeing as well as hunting and fishing.
Angel Oak/Charleston County
The purpose of the Angel Oak acquisition is to protect the majestic Angel Oak tree and give the public a way to enjoy it and learn about it with trails and educational features. The property looks over a farm, which is under a conservation easement. Green space is clearly important to the people who live on or visit Johns Island and value its rural history. The purchase provides enhanced educational opportunities that become possible with the entire 35-acre tract, plus it saves taxpayers and Johns Island residents the burdens associated with high density development and resulting traffic.
We urgently need your support in our efforts to make sure reauthorization happens.
The first step is simply providing us with your contact information, so we can keep you updated on our efforts. Once you are on our communications list, we will provide the ideas and methods for you to let your elected representative in Columbia know how important the conservation bank is to you personally. Remember, they are there to represent you, and not play politics.