ALLENDALE COUNTY, SC – Lowcountry Land Trust (LLT) has announced the permanent protection of 450 acres in Allendale County through a conservation easement. The property, known as Willingham Plantation, lies within the Savannah River Preserve, a sub-region of the South Lowcountry (SoLo) Focus Area, and extends a significant corridor of protected lands along the Savannah River that stretches from Allendale County to the Atlantic Ocean.
The protected property joins over 150,000 acres of public and private protected land in the sub-region, and adds to a nearly continuous 100,000-acre corridor of protected land along the Savannah River. Willingham is located adjacent to Brier Creek, which drains into the Savannah River, the primary source of drinking water for hundreds of thousands of residents in South Carolina and Georgia. The conservation easement ensures the land will not be developed, and will not contribute to pollutants normally associated with intense commercial, industrial, or residential development uses, thereby contributing to the enhancement of water quality in the Savannah River.
In 2003, the landowner began Longleaf Pine and wildlife habitat restoration efforts on the property. This work, along with the work on surrounding properties, has resulted in a significant stretch of optimal wildlife habitat along the Savannah River for white-tailed deer, wild turkey, bobwhite quail, waterfowl species, etc. After decades of work to restore the property’s natural habitat, this easement ensures the landowner’s efforts will not only continue as planned, but the progress of their conservation efforts will remain in perpetuity.
“Protecting a property that builds on the legacy of the Savannah River Preserve is always something to celebrate” commented Ashley Demosthenes, president and CEO, Lowcountry Land Trust. “Conservation efforts along this river corridor, in particular, are vital as they contribute to the health and vitality of drinking water for thousands of residents downstream. The landowner has been restoring the property to its natural ecology for decades, and now, thanks to this conservation easement, all of that work has culminated in its permanent protection. ”