Metker Kings Hero

Filling a “Critical Conservation Gap” at Kings Mountain State Park

YORK COUNTY, SC (March 7, 2024)—The Open Space Institute (OSI), together with landowner Greta Metker and partners at South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism (SCPRT), and the South Carolina Conservation Bank (SCCB), have worked together to save nearly 50 acres of land that closes an unprotected gap in Kings Mountain State Park.

The “Metker Kings” property comprises 22 acres of open pastureland, 23 acres of mature forested upland, and a nearly two-acre pond. A beautiful expanse of land that includes a picturesque barn and two small houses, the land would very likely have been sold to a private buyer for development as a commercial event venue, were it not for the conservation efforts of OSI, the Metker family, and partners.

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OSI purchased the land from conservation-minded landowner Greta Metker, with SCCB providing support for the purchase. The property will ultimately be conveyed to SCPRT as an addition to Kings Mountain State Park.

The newly protected property and surrounding park are rich with Revolutionary War history, having been the site of a critical, early battle in the war that marked the first major setback for Britain’s southern strategy. The property is also ranked as a “High Conservation Priority” for its location within the State Park, and for its role as home to numerous species of conservation concern including northern Bobwhite Quail and four species of bats. Native Americans are known to have inhabited the area for as long as 12,000 years, and significant Indigenous relics are likely to remain on the property. The land will serve the diverse residents of the area with passive recreation opportunities such as fishing, paddling, and wildlife observation.

“We were so pleased to help fill this critical conservation gap with Ms. Metker and our partners,” said Patrick Moore, OSI’s Associate Director of Land for the Southeast. “This is a beautiful tract and it’s only appropriate that it is forever protected and available to the public. We thank our partners at SCPRT, SCCB, and the Metker family for their dedication to seeing this land protected forever.”

“My family has owned this land for years and have had many happy years there,” said Greta Metker. “We love this land and want it to be enjoyed by all. That’s why we made the decision to conserve the land for everyone, and we couldn’t be happier about our decision. It fills my heart to know that children will be able to play and people will be able to fish and enjoy the sunshine here for generations to come.”

“We are honored that the Metkers have entrusted us with the future of this special property,” said Duane Parrish, Director of the SCPRT. “We look forward to honoring their legacy use of the land while helping visitors to Kings Mountain State Park discover and appreciate this beautiful and historic place. We are grateful to our partners at OSI and SCCB, and particularly to the Metkers for their generosity to the State Park System and the people of South Carolina.”

“SCCB was delighted to support this project,” said Raleigh West, Executive Director of the SCCB. “It is so important that we do everything we can to protect South Carolina’s peerless outdoor spaces, especially ones as lovely and peaceful as the Metker tract. It is a very special place, and we commend the Metker family for doing everything they could to protect it.”

About the Open Space Institute

Founded in 1974, the Open Space Institute (OSI) has been a partner in the protection of more than 2.5 million acres along the eastern seaboard from Quebec to Florida. OSI’s Southeast office, established in Charleston in 2014, has been a partner in the protection of more than 50,000 acres in South Carolina, the vast majority of which will be open to the public. Visit OSI online at

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