CHARLESTON, SC (Oct 18, 2021)—The Open Space Institute (OSI), Drayton Hall Preservation Trust, and Lowcountry Land Trust today announced a significant conservation victory within South Carolina’s Ashley River Historic District. With the protection of the land, which has now been conveyed to the Drayton Hall Preservation Trust with a conservation easement held by the Lowcountry Land Trust, the project has successfully secured one of the last and largest unprotected inholdings within one of America’s most threatened historic districts.
The 204-acre “Oaks” property is located along the Ashley River Scenic River. The property features saltwater wetlands, mature freshwater maritime forest, and uplands containing a mature live oak allee. Protection of the land will permanently safeguard a critical tract important for the health of the Ashley River. OSI purchased the property from Evening Post Industries using funds from the South Carolina Conservation Bank (SCCB), the National Coastal Wetlands Grant Program of the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), Drayton Hall Preservation Trust, and Dorchester Preservation Trust.
Located only 15 miles from downtown Charleston, the 25,000-acre Ashley River Historic District is experiencing intense development pressure. Today, an estimated 3,000 acres of priority unprotected land exist within the region.
“The tract is embedded in a larger landscape of publicly and privately protected land and exhibits the creativity, innovation, and collaboration that have become hallmarks of the conservation movement in South Carolina over the past forty years.” said Nate Berry, OSI Senior Vice President for Land Acquisitions and Dispositions. “We at the Open Space Institute are proud to help carry this conservation tradition forward into its fifth decade.”
“Partnering with the Open Space Institute, Drayton Hall Preservation Trust and Lowcountry Land Trust team has allowed Evening Post Publishing to protect The Oaks in a manner consistent with our corporate philosophy of conserving significant ecological coastal habitat and the extraordinary cultural resource values of the Ashley River Historic District,” said Pierre Manigault, Chairman, Evening Post Publishing, Inc.