CHARLESTON, SC (April 27, 2022)—The Open Space Institute (OSI) today announced the purchase of a key property on Edisto Island, the 176-acre Bayview Farms. The property serves as the gateway to the Botany Bay Heritage Preserve and Wildlife Management Area and includes more than one mile of frontage along Botany Bay Road and Highway 174. OSI’s acquisition of Bayview Farms secures the entrance to one of the most beloved and heavily visited nature preserves in the state.
A drive across Edisto Island on Highway 174, a National Scenic Byway, reveals the significance of the Bayview Farms acquisition. The 13-mile-long route from the Intracoastal Waterway to Edisto Beach is literally a trip through history. Over the past two centuries, the landscape along the road has changed very little, due largely in part to community-driven efforts to protect the island’s unique landscape. The highway is flanked by saltmarsh creeks and tidal mudflats, farm fields, and stands of maritime forest. The historic African American settlements along the road consist of modest cottages, some with windows outlined in traditional “plat-eye blue” paint, sheltered beneath the branches of ancient, Spanish moss-laden live oaks.
“With more than 50 percent of the land protected, Edisto boasts a remarkable community preservation history,” said Nate Berry, OSI Senior Vice President. “OSI is proud to contribute to this legacy by securing Bayview Farms — a property long deemed a critical conservation priority.”