The Ebb & Flow BLOG

Angel Oak Preserve Wins 2024 SCASLA Award for Excellence in Analysis and Planning

Charleston, SC – Lowcountry Land Trust today announced that the Angel Oak Preserve has been honored with the prestigious 2024 South Carolina American Society of Landscape Architects (SCASLA) Award. This year’s peer jury, conducted by the NYASLA chapter, selected the Angel Oak Preserve and its landscape architecture firm, Nelson Byrd Woltz, as the recipient of the Award of Excellence in Analysis & Planning. The SCASLA peer jury meticulously evaluated numerous criteria, including design quality, environmental sensitivity, hazard mitigation strategies, and design value to the community. Among stiff competition, the Angel Oak Preserve stood out for its innovative solutions and profound significance to the local area and community.

“We are incredibly honored that the Angel Oak Preserve received this recognition from SCASLA,” said Samantha Siegel, Lowcountry Land Trust’s Angel Oak Preserve Director. “This award is a testament to the dedication and vision of everyone involved in this project, from our partners at the City of Charleston to the talented landscape architects at Nelson Byrd Woltz.”

The Angel Oak Preserve project, a collaboration between Lowcountry Land Trust, the City of Charleston, and local stakeholders, is expected to break ground in 2025 and will create a sustainable and accessible space that celebrates the rich history and natural beauty of Johns Island. The near-final designs were unveiled in early 2023, marking a significant milestone in the comprehensive planning process led by Lowcountry Land Trust and Nelson Byrd Woltz.

From wetlands to elevated areas and a mix of hardwood and pine trees, the 44-acre Angel Oak Preserve will offer visitors a glimpse into the richness and complexity of the region’s natural landscape. Additionally, archaeological discoveries made during the design process, including indigenous stone and quartz tools, cabins belonging to enslaved workers, a plantation house, and oak alleé, underscore the Preserve’s role as a repository of layered history. Miles of meticulously planned boardwalks and trails will provide universal access while safeguarding the delicate ecologies and archeological sites surrounding the iconic Angel Oak tree. Throughout the Preserve, interpretive elements will allow visitors to learn about the historic and ecological significance that has shaped Johns Island for centuries, ensuring that visitors can engage with and reflect upon the diverse cultural and environmental narratives that define the 44-acre Angel Oak Preserve.

“Lowcountry Land Trust believes that the Angel Oak Preserve will not only serve as a recreational space but, more importantly, as a place of learning and reflection,” added Siegel. “Through interpretive elements and interactive experiences, visitors will gain a deep understanding of the land’s history and its importance to the community. These meaningful design elements would not have come to fruition without Nelson Byrd Woltz’s award-winning analysis and planning.”