Lowcountry Land Trust is working with internationally-recognized landscape architect Nelson Byrd Woltz and a diverse steering committee to build a 44-acre preserve. 

Unrivaled in its features and accessibility, the design will feature boardwalk trails, a nature play area for children and educational information about the tree and native people that have held this place sacred.

The process launched in the summer of 2022 and will include public meetings, surveys, and stakeholder interviews. The goal is to complete a design that honors the rural and cultural context of the land in early 2023. 


"From the very beginning, Lowcountry Land Trust has worked to engage with the community to ensure this beautiful property of forest and wetlands remains in the public trust for the protection of the tree. We are delighted to work with so many private and public partners to realize the vision that led to the Angel Oak Preserve's protection in 2013!"
Ashley Demosthenes
President & CEO, Lowcountry Land Trust
Centuries AgoAngel Oak History + Effect
Angel Oak History

The magnificent tree known as Angel Oak, an icon of South Carolina’s Lowcountry region, is estimated to be centuries old. Native Americans once used the Angel Oak as a ceremonial meeting place.

16th - 20th CenturyAngel Oak History + Effect
Modern Uses

The land surrounding the tree has also served as a plantation, a freedman's village, and a place where Johns Islanders, including Civil Rights activist Septima P. Clark, could rest under the shade.

1980Angel Oak History + Effect
Septima P. Clark

In an interview from 1980, famous Civil Rights Activist Septima Poinsette Clark said:

“From the early days, Black people told their children stories about that tree. It was sacred, and it is sacred to them. Segregation was at its height, but the tree was not segregated. I don't really know who owned the tree, but they never segregated it so that we couldn’t go in. We would go in and have our picnic lunch, spend the day, the children would play under the tree, and then we would come back. There were ten black schools on the island and nearly all those teachers used the Angel Oak for their recreational programs."

2008Angel Oak History + Effect
Save The Angel Oak

In 2008, local nonprofit organizations like Coastal Conservation League and South Carolina Environmental Law Project, along with public entities, and community members, including LLT’s Angel Oak Project Manager Samantha Siegel,  partnered to protect the tree and its surrounding ecosystem. The Angel Oak Effect is named after the grassroots effort that rallied and raised donations to save the tree after the surrounding 35 acres were approved for residential development.

A Grass-Roots Rally To Protect South Carolina's Massive 'Angel Oak'

Samantha Siegel’s relentless resolve to protect the Angel Oak

2022Angel Oak History + Effect
LLT Announces Angel Oak Preserve

Lowcountry Land Trust proudly stewards the Angel Oak Preserve initiative - a 10-year effort to unify an existing 9-acre city park with the surrounding 35 acres once threatened by insensitive development. The Charleston community celebrates the magnetic draw of the enormous, centuries-old tree known as Angel Oak - and Lowcountry Land Trust is working to highlight this immersive ambassador site for environmental conservation through the creation of Angel Oak Preserve.

Local Stewards of the Angel Oak Reflect on What's to Come

Lowcountry Land Trust begins planning phase for Angel Oak Preserve project

Nelson Byrd Woltz tapped to lead planning process for South Carolina’s Angel Oak Preserve


Meet Summer Intern Kate Schaible

Native to Charleston, intern Kate Schaible spends her summers in the Lowcountry between semesters at Wake Forest University. As an Economics major with a minor in Environmental Studies, Kate found

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