What is the Angel Oak Effect

A community movement to preserve an iconic tree & the lessons it holds

In 2013, we partnered with Save the Angel Oak and launched a campaign to protect 35 acres surrounding the iconic live oak. That was the start of a movement that’s changing us all.

This year, we’re working with the community to create a master plan to turn that protected land into the Angel Oak Preserve—a publicly accessible park with walking trails and historical, cultural, and environmental information that brings together a demographically diverse array of stakeholders to share in the creation of a widely valued community resource.

We would love to hear from the community about what they would like to see at the Angel Oak Preserve. Click here to fill out our survey.

To Know the angel oak is to better know ourselves.

To see the centuries-old Angel Oak tree is to be awed by its sheer enormity: six stories tall, a trunk 28 feet around, a quarter acre of shaded canopy.

To listen to the tree is to be humbled by both its sacred stillness and the pulsing life — moss, insects, toads, squirrels, and humans — that depend upon it.

To learn about the Angel Oak is to learn renewal — how a mighty tree gathers water through its galaxy of roots, lifts it through a massive trunk to its branches reaching like arms to the sky to the tips of every leaf — constantly. Always. Without ceasing.

To gather under the Angel Oak is to be unconditionally accepted by its shelter and shade, comfort and care, presence and power.

To know the Angel Oak is to better know ourselves.

timeline / next steps
Summer 2013

Campaign launched to protect 36 acres surrounding the angel oak

Fall 2013

Fellowship dinner held at tree with community to support campaign. Land Trust receives funding from Greenbelt Fund. Community and businesses support protection.


Winter 2013

The first 17 acres of Angel Oak Preserve was protected.

Spring 2014

Campaign launched to protect 36 acres surrounding the angel oak

March 2014

An additional 19 acres protected. Total protected acreage is 36 acres — forming the Angel Oak Preserve.

Summer 2014
Research and information gathering process begins with stakeholders to identify possibilities for preserve.
Winter / Spring 2015

Ecological survey commences to determine property details and possible uses.

Summer 2015


Fall 2015

Lookout Mountain Conservancy visits Charleston to meet with researchers, Land Trust board and community partners.

Spring 2016

Ecological survey completed and cultural survey initiated.

Fall 2016

Cultural survey continues.


Clean up efforts with Boeing, Haut Gap MIddle School and soul in the city completed

PROTECT the angel oak

Protect the land that defines us

Your tax-deductible support helps us preserve and protect significant Lowcountry lands — and the way of life they support — forever.

Angel Oak

blog feed

May 20, 2022

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC –  Lowcountry Land Trust (LLT) has announced that, in partnership with a group of local stakeholders, it has selected Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects (NBW) to lead a comprehensive planning process for the much-anticipated Angel Oak Preserve,…

June 23, 2021

In 2008, Samantha Siegel took a stand and started a movement to save the Angel Oak and its surrounding land from impending development. Along the way, she garnered support from many notable conservation organizations, including the Coastal Conservation League and…

September 22, 2018

Here are a few fall adventure ideas for you and your family to enjoy on publicly accessible land protected by Lowcountry Land Trust! Angel Oak Tree Park (John’s Island, SC) LLT protects the 35 acres surrounding the estimated 500-year-old magnificent…

March 21, 2018

Our clocks have sprung forward. The sun stays out past dinner. And the bugs are coming out of hiding. How is it possible that the first quarter of the year has already come and gone? It’s spring, meaning it’s time…

February 22, 2018

We're sharing four of our favorite places to visit in the springtime. Scroll on to explore, then plan your next weekend adventure.   Angel Oak Tree Park (John’s Island, Charleston, SC) – because there’s something awesome about having a live…

January 17, 2018

2017 was a year filled with action - 61 volunteers participated in seven different projects that ranged from litter cleanups to installing "Protected Forever" signs on Lowcountry Land Trust protected properties. Volunteers donated over 307 hours of their time to…