#06-190 July 17, 2006
S.C. Conservation Bank commits $9 million for habitat protection
At its June 20 meeting in Charleston, the S.C. Conservation Bank board committed $9,075,000 in funding for nine habitat protection projects containing 5,178-acres of highly significant lands.
These grants covered a wide diversity of critical lands located across the entire state, according to Marvin N. Davant, Conservation Bank, executive director. The grants were made for urban parks, large forestlands, mountain tracts in the Scenic Highway area of the Upstate, tracts adjoining existing State Parks, small family farms and coastal islands.
Find out more about the Conservation Bank at http://sccbank.sc.gov/.
In addition, the Conservation Bank partnered with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources in committing $10 million to purchase the Hamilton Ridge tract in Hampton County and Woodbury tract in Marion County containing a total of 38,949 acres of critical forestlands and wetlands. This partnership will protect river frontage totaling 46.5 miles on the Savannah and Pee Dee Rivers respectively. The Bank also committed funding to the Morris Island project in Charleston containing considerable historical significance. All of the grants had some degree of leveraging ranging from a small matching grant to 80 percent matching funds. All of the grants had public access ranging from moderate to full public access.
Grants approved at the board’s June meeting were received on or before the March 31 filing period deadline. The S.C. Conservation Bank has now completed its second full year of funding conservation projects statewide.
“This was an outstanding group of applications and the Conservation Bank is very pleased to be a partner in conserving these critical lands for the future and to improve the quality of life in South Carolina,” Davant said. “We appreciate the commitment of our conservation groups and our voluntary landowners to keep South Carolina a special place.”
In two years, the Conservation Bank has funded 40 conservation proposals from voluntary landowners. These proposals conserve a total of 40,607 acres statewide at an average cost per acre to the Conservation Bank of $916.00.
The Conservation Bank board will meet again on October 24, 2006 to consider applications received by the July 31 deadline. Mail applications to S.C. Conservation Bank, P.O. Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202.
Proposals funded at the June 20 board meeting include:
- Ashley River Historic District - This grant is for $2,285,000 for the final payment on Phase Three in Charleston and Dorchester County. It includes funding for the Bacons Bridge tract to be purchased and donated to Dorchester County when completed.
- Cleveland Wilson Farm - This grant is the Phase Three final payment of $2,370,000 on the 325 acres of meadow on the Saluda River near Scenic Highway 11 in Greenville County.
- Forester Tract - This grant in the amount of $1,233,000 is for the remaining 41.11 acres of highway frontage for the Lake Conestee Park project in Greenville. Grantee has raised $500,000 in match funds.
- Greenbriar Farms Tract - This grant in the amount of $280,000 for 124.42 acres of a small family working organic and experimental farm in Pickens County. Landowner has donated 50% of the value of the easement.
- Hamilton Ridge Tract - This $5,000,000 grant is a partnership with the SCDNR on 13,281 acres in Hampton County adjoining the Webb Center GMA and having 8.5 miles of frontage on the Savannah River. See video of Hamilton Ridge>>>
- The McCorkle Tract - This grant is in the amount of $410,000 for 28.75 acres in the City for Spartanburg adjoining an existing nature preserve and urban park. Grantee will provide $15,000 matching funds.
- Morris Island - This grant is for $1,500,000 matching funds to purchase this 126-acre island in the Charleston Harbor. It has considerable historical significance and will be a public park. Grantee will provide remaining $3 million cost.
- Mountain Bridge Passage - This grant is for $1,550,000 for 175 acres on Scenic Highway 11 in Greenville County. This tract is operated as a summer camp for handicapped children. Grantee is a charitable group that will use funds for other charitable purposes. A $200,000 private foundation match is provided.
- Palmetto Bluff - This grant is for $750,000 for 295 acres on the New River headwaters in Beaufort County. The Bluffton Linear Trail will be located on this tract. Grant is conditioned on a donated easement on the adjoining 5,000 acres.
- Woodbury Tract - This grant is for $5,000,000 matching funds in partnering with the South Carolina Dept. of Natural Resources in conserving 25,668 acres in Marion County. This proposal protects 38 miles of River frontage between the Little and the Great PeeDee Rivers. See video of the Woodbury Tract>>>
- The Townes Tract - This grant is for $965,000 for 663.61 acres near Scenic Highway 11 in Greenville and Pickens Counties. It is farmland and woods and the South Saluda borders the property. Landowner has donated 50% of the easement value.