BERKELEY COUNTY, SC – Lowcountry Land Trust (LLT) today announced the sale and permanent protection of Hyde Park Plantation, a 604-acre property on the East Branch of the Cooper River in Berkeley County.
The property was acquired in 2017 by LLT with funds from the Cooper River Revolving Fund, an innovative mitigation solution established by the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA). Proceeds from the sale will return to the Fund.
“The Cooper River Corridor’s unique ecological and historic characteristics continue to be under pressure by the growing Charleston region,” commented Ashley Demosthenes, President and CEO, Lowcountry Land Trust. “By purchasing this property, placing it under a permanent conservation easement, and selling it, we not only protect Hyde Park but also we return capital to the revolving Fund to allow for more conservation work in the Cooper River Corridor.”
The property includes more than 100 acres of broken rice fields and nearly 500 acres of upland forest, as well as an historic “marooning” getaway cottage dating to the 1790s. This transaction brings the total number of private, state, and local protected acres in the Cooper River Corridor to more than 58,000, which also connects to the 259,000-acre Francis Marion National Forest. Hyde Park is the thirteenth property protected by LLT in the Corridor.
“The Cooper River Corridor is extremely significant to our region and the nation,” said SCPA President and CEO Barbara Melvin. “We’re pleased that our initial investment in the fund continues to generate lasting positive impacts on our community.”
Hyde Park Plantation was owned for centuries by the Ball family, which at times also owned the adjacent Kensington Plantation to the east and many other properties in the Cooper River Corridor. To its west, Hyde Park is adjacent to the 11,000-acre Bonneau Ferry Wildlife Management Area, managed by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Hyde Park was a working plantation dating back to the early 1700s. Since the mid-20th century, the property has been managed primarily for timber and recreation.
The Cooper River Revolving Fund was established in 2014 with $4.5 million in mitigation funds from the Charleston Harbor Deepening. Leveraging this fund, LLT also purchased, protected, and sold the 425-acre French Quarter Creek property off of Highway 41.
About Lowcountry Land Trust
Founded in 1986, the Lowcountry Land Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the mission to honor the relationship between people and land by protecting irreplaceable Lowcountry lands and treasured places. Lowcountry Land Trust has protected over 150,000 acres across 17 counties in South Carolina. More information about Lowcountry Land Trust is available at www.lowcountrylandtrust.org.