Preserving the beloved Angel Oak is again the focus of a community-wide effort organized by the Lowcountry Open Land Trust and designed to secure a final tract of land near the ancient tree.
The campaign announced today will raise $3.3 million to secure just over 18 acres for the second tract that is permitted to support 260 multi-family housing units and small retail.
The acreage is a second portion of land conservationists believe is too close to the tree to be safely developed. The first 17-acre tract was successfully secured in December, after a five-month campaign. With donations pouring in from more than 10,000 individuals throughout the region – and the world – LOLT successfully met its obligations in round one with a blend of private, public, corporate and non-profit contributions. That effort halted the development of 254 units on land that supports forests and root systems critical to the tree’s health.
Of the $3.3 million needed to secure the second tract, LOLT can already count on $400,000 from the City of Charleston, whose Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. has committed the funds. The trust has applied for $2.5 million in Charleston County Greenbelt funds, and will enlist the community to raise the additional $400,000. The Trust has until mid-March to secure all the funds.
“This community told us resoundingly that they support the complete preservation of the Angel Oak,” said Elizabeth Hagood, LOLT Executive Director. “We look forward to their energy and commitment in this final round as we raise $400,000 to secure a total of 34 fragile acres. This tree is a testament to our community’s complex history, and will surely be a guidepost for generations to come.”