GREENVILLE, SC – Thanks to grant support from the Open Space Institute (OSI), popular Jones Gap State Park has been expanded for recreation and for rare plant and animal species. Located in South Carolina’s Blue Ridge mountains, the property will continue to safeguard critical habitat, even as the climate changes.
This week, The Nature Conservancy conveyed the 955-acre “Jones Gap” property to the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism. The tract is also the last large remaining unprotected piece of land in the Mountain Bridge Wilderness: a 40,000-acre corridor of conserved lands which crosses the North and South Carolina state line and includes the DuPont Forest property also supported by OSI earlier this year.
OSI supported conservation of the Jones Gap property with $650,000 — its largest-ever grant through its Resilient Landscape Initiative. The Initiative protects “climate-resilient” lands, defined as the places that are most likely to continue to harbor sensitive plants and animals, even under a changing climate.
“The Open Space Institute is proud to support the expansion of Jones Gap State Park, and prouder still to continue to protect lands in South Carolina that will be a critical stronghold for wildlife and people for generations to come,” said Peter Howell, OSI’s executive vice president. “We congratulate The Nature Conservancy and the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism on this amazing addition to a beloved park.”