“A lot of people think in a spiritual way about this tree,” Mike McShain, Lowcountry Open Land Trust Angel Oak Preserve task force chairman and former board chairman said. “It has seen many generations of families who have been here and are no longer here. The stories that tree could tell.”
Bruce Smith of the AP recently interviewed McShain about the effort to preserve the 17 acres adjacent to the Angel Oak. He described the plan to create passive parking and walking trails once the land is purchased.
“At the height of segregation, this was the most desegregated piece of property in the area. After church, whites and blacks would come here for the shade of the Angel Oak and picnic after church. It was never segregated.” Mike McShane commented.
“Nearby buildings, parking lots and other impervious surfaces can affect the water table supplying the oak. And trees buffering the oak can provide more protection from wind during storms. More vehicles also mean more air pollution which can affect the tree.”