Dawn of Hope Plantation, 731 acres, Colleton County
Drop your kayak into the Ashepoo River, and even with a strong pull and the tide at your back, it would take nearly an hour to paddle the nearly 2.5 miles from one end of Dawn of Hope Plantation to the other. Whether you have plans to paddle this stretch of the Ashepoo tomorrow or hope for your grandchildren to fish here in fifty years, you can breathe easy because the view along the river will remain wild and uninterrupted. Right before the end of the year, on December 19th, Lowcountry Land Trust closed a conservation easement on Dawn of Hope Plantation that will protect this 731-acre piece of the ACE Basin forever.
What makes Dawn of Hope even more remarkable than its expansive river frontage are the hundreds of acres that lie behind the Ashepoo–active and relic rice impoundments, historic structures that date back to the 18th-century, longleaf pine and wetland forests, and active agricultural fields. These lands are healthy and productive today, and because of the role wetland forests play in filtering groundwater, they will continue to contribute to the health and well being of the wider Lowcountry long into the future by ensuring clean water downstream in St. Helena Sound. Moreover, because Dawn of Hope Plantation is in close proximity to many other properties under easement with LLT, the landscapes and ecosystems that stretch across the properties, and across the Ashepoo River, will be more completely protected.