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Upstate Forever

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment

Mission: Upstate forever is a conservation organization with a mission to protect critical lands, waters, and the unique character of the upstate of south carolina.

Programs: Clear water in 2017, the clean water program collaborated with drinking water utilities to develop strategic source water protection plans in the tyger and pacolet river watersheds. Led discussions for improving wetland and stream mitigation throughout the upstate. Assisted in the development of a statewide volunteer adopt-a-stream program that provides for routine testing of our streams and rivers. Connected people to rivers throughout the upstate by collaborating with partners to improve blueway planning efforts and mapping blueways (paddle trails) so that people can move easily and enjoy safe water recreation activities. Launched an online, interactive map featuring blueway trails throughtout sc and printed water- proof blueway maps for the broad and twelve mile rivers, and updated maps for the upper saluda river. Continued monitoring a utility company's compliance with a voluntary settlement agreement to remove coal ash ponds that threaten the saluda river. Assisted farmers and homeowners improve water quality in several saluda sub-watersheds. Collaborated with reedy river water quality group.

land trust the upstate forever land trust program is accredited by the national land trust association and has protected 21,131acres through 114 conservation easements in the upstate of south carolina. Over 30% of the conservation easements provide provide public access and over 15% are working farms. Over 40% of the easements protect properties along or near scenic highway 11. In 2017 upstate forever helped to preserve an addition to cragmoor farm which is a partnership with spartanburg district six. The plan is already being developed to include a working farm, processing areas, and classroom space for students to grow fresh food for the school cafeteria.

land policy and planning in 2017 land policy and planning released an eye-opening study highlighting the region's economically and environmentally unsustainable development trends. Assisted the city of landrum to develop a comprehensive plan, actively supported its adoption, and worked to advance plan recommendations. Advocated for adoption for an innovative parking reduction program in downtown clemson. Led a grass roots advocacy initiative in boiling springs (an unincorporated area of spartanburg county).

signing 121 conservation agreements that protect more than 21,000 acres of critical lands in the region, such as stumphouse mountain in oconee county, nine times in pickens county, key tracts in the blue ridge escarpment, land along highway 11, and a number of beautiful farmlands that collectively help to preserve our greatly threatened natural heritage becoming the first land trust organization in south carolina to receive national accreditation playing an essential role in securing and opening greenville's ghs swamp rabbit trail and catalyzing an extension of the trail from downtown to cu- icar and continuing to play an active role to complete the long-term plan for the trail establishing and operating the greenville b-cycle bike-share program leading coordination of blueway trail mapping throughout sc and catalyzing river access across the upstate mobilizing public opposition to stop duke energy's proposed substation and 45-mile long transmission line across the foothills and blue ridge mountains of the upstate and western north carolina appealed a proposed 254-home subdivision that would have forever altered the character of glassy mountain, a pickens county icon, and worked with the landowners and community members to realize a conservation solution securing a voluntary agreement from duke energy to remove coal ash improperly stored along that saluda river assisting the southern environmental law center in a successful us 4th circuit appeal addressing the 2014 diesel spill in belton, sc successfully advocating for implementation of the federal court's consent decree to remove pcb-contaminated sediment and two dams on the twelve mile river stopping a proposed mega-landfill in spartanburg county and a coal ash landfill in pickens county and promoting waste reduction and recycling through collection events for household hazardous waste and pharmaceuticals releasing an eye-opening growth projection study for the upstate that shows what our region will look like in 2030 if current development patterns and policies remain unchanged managing one of the most comprehensive watershed studies ever undertaken in the country and leading implementation of many recommended solutions throughout the saluda-reedy watershed, resulting in significant water quality improvements which allow residents and industries to continue to use and enjoy lake greenwood advocating successfully for the enactment of hospitality taxes in greenville and spartanburg counties to fund parks and greenways creating and successfully advocating for the adoption of the stormwater banking program, a market-based initiative for cleaner water that provides incentives for better development in the city and county of greenville restoring nearly 3,000 feet of trout habitat in the south saluda river advocating successfully for the enactment of progressive local ordinances relating to encouraging more walkable communities, tree protection, stream buffers, clustered developments, big box stores, and parking lots, completing the leed platinum-certified renovation of our greenville office and introducing the earthcraft green building standard to south carolina through our "upstate house" project.

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Land_Trust_Accreditation_Commission

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Upstate Forever is an accredited land trust. Accreditation means Upstate Forever meets national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. Upstate Forever has demonstrated to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission its commitment to excellence. Accredited land trusts meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. These land trusts demonstrate their commitment to excellence by adopting Land Trust Standards and Practices, the ethical and technical guidelines for the responsible operation of a land trust, and meeting the accreditation requirements drawn from them. Learn More: http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org/about.

Review from Guidestar

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

If you want your money to go a long way towards improving society then Upstate Forever is an excellent choice. The organization is lean and highly effective in slowing the loss of life quality in in SC.

Review from Guidestar