Pickens County, S.C. (WSPA)- Beaver ponds and farms in the Upstate might have more in common now than you think. Both are among the properties being protected in the Upstate through a new conservation project. 

More than 700 acres in Anderson, Greenville, and Pickens counties have been placed under conservation easements by a preservation nonprofit, Upstate Forever.

“All of these properties have a significant impact on water quality and that is the mission of Upstate Forever, looking at water quality and maintaining water quality in the Upstate,” said Scott Park, director of land conservation.

One of these properties sits in Six Mile. Councilman James Atkinson said he pushed for Six Mile to take part because of who it will benefit. 

“Children don’t get the opportunity to get out and experience green space and the outdoors so this project will give them that opportunity and give them that opportunity forever, because a conservation easement is forever,” said Councilman James Atkinson, Six Mile.

While Six Mile is just one of many locations, Atkinson said it’s completely transforming the area.  

“The area is going to have some walking trails, a boardwalk around the pond area, and around the school, a garden area is planned where children can learn about gardening, ultimately one day an outdoor type classroom,” said Atkinson. 

With each site protected in this conservation effort comes reasons for why it is.

“We look at how that piece of the land influences water quality,” said Park. “We’ve got a lot of data that shows us where those pieces of property are. We actively reach out to landowners that have those kinds of properties that influence water quality.”
If you are interested in preserving land or volunteering with Upstate Forever, click here.