Protecting Land & Water | Advocacy | Balanced Growth
2019 was a momentous year for Upstate Forever

Thanks to your support, our team built upon the work we’ve been committed to for more than 20 years — protecting our region’s critical lands, safeguarding our waters, and advocating for responsible growth across the Upstate.

Below is a glimpse at some of 2019's successes that you helped make possible. Visit the Upstate Forever blog to read the full list.
  • 7 properties protected through voluntary conservation easements
  • 1,625 total acres protected
  • 30 graduates of the inaugural Citizens Planning Academy
  • 3 UF-backed bills passed in the SC Statehouse, including the Energy Freedom Act
  • 270 hours volunteered at Greenville’s Cancer Survivors Park, Wildcat Wayside in Cleveland, and Lake Conestee Nature Park
Thank you for your continued support of Upstate Forever. Together we can protect Upstate South Carolina's unique character for generations to come.
UF's 2020 advocacy priorities
Our mission is to protect the critical lands, waters, and unique character of Upstate South Carolina. To accomplish that mission, we advocate for specific outcomes at the local and state level that are likely to have a measurable impact to the ten-county Upstate region. Read our 2020 advocacy priorities
Get Legislative Action Alerts
While the South Carolina Legislature is in session from January through May of each year, Energy & State Policy Director Shelley Robbins shares a weekly Legislative Update with Action Alerts on critical, time sensitive issues and provides the tools you need to contact your elected officials.  Sign up now
You're invited to the ForeverGreen Annual Awards Luncheon

Monday, February 24
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Embassy Suites
670 Verdae Boulevard
Greenville, SC 29607

Each year, Upstate Forever's ForeverGreen Annual Awards Luncheon celebrates individuals and organizations for significant contributions in fields related to conservation and sustainable growth.

In addition to the awards program, this year’s ForeverGreen Luncheon will feature a special celebration to honor Upstate Forever’s founder and conservation hero Brad Wyche . 

*New this year: Buy tickets early and save 30%*
Now through 5:00 pm on January 31, early bird tickets are available at a discounted rate of $35 each. To learn more about the 2020 ForeverGreen Luncheon or to purchase tickets, click here.
Citizens Planning Academy
Applications are now being accepted to join our Spring 2020 Citizens Planning Academy, a 4-week course for Greenville residents, business owners and neighborhood leaders interested in becoming more informed and involved in City of Greenville planning and land use policy efforts. Learn more and apply
Bunched Arrowhead protected
After opposition from neighbors and conservation groups, including Upstate Forever, a developer has dropped plans for a proposed subdivision north of Travelers Rest that would have been just feet from the habitat of one of the world's rarest plants: Bunched Arrowhead. Read more from the Greenville News
Placemaking Workshop in Greer, May 2011
Upstate Comprehensive Plan updates

Two of the region's fastest growing areas — Greenville and Spartanburg — are making plans on how best to accommodate unprecedented growth projected for the decades to come. Greenville has recently completed the process of updating its County Comprehensive Plan and now looks to turn the plan into policy , while the City Comprehensive Plan continues to develop. Meanwhile, the City of Spartanburg has just launched its planning process.

Greenville County
We are pleased to report that Greenville County Council recently voted unanimously to adopt the County Comp Plan as drafted! The county's new plan represents a shift away from a "business-as-usual" approach to land development and provides a "blueprint" for more wisely accommodating future growth.

Now it's time to turn the plan to policy. Greenville County has taken an important first step in that process and it looks like there will be opportunities for stakeholder and citizen engagement along the way, so stay tuned!

Kudos to the county staff who led a thoughtful planning process with strong community engagement! Please take a minute today to thank your council representative for supporting plan adoption. You can visit this website if you are unsure who represents you.

Want to stay informed as Greenville County's Comp Plan process moves forward? Click here to sign up to receive our Greenville County Comprehensive Plan Updates

City of Greenville
GVL2040, the City of Greenville's comp plan update, has entered Phase 3, which is designed to explore "What Might Change: Growth and Change Scenarios." Mark your calendar to attend GVL2040's next open house on February 12 and stay tuned for details to be announced. Visit to catch up on what's happened so far in Phases 1 & 2.

City of Spartanburg
The City of Spartanburg kicked off the new year by rolling out plans to update their comprehensive plan, which was last adopted in 2004.

Brian Wright, Founding Principal of Town Planning and Urban Design Collaborative, and Matt Noonkester, Founding Principal of City Explained, were selected by the city to co-lead an 18-month long comprehensive planning process to envision the city's future as far out as 2045. In a presentation to Spartanburg city council on January 13, Wright outlined what that process will look like and the specific fields of expertise represented by the team of consultants assembled for the project. Click here to view Wright's presentation starting around the 23-minute mark.

If you'd like to learn more about the comprehensive planning process, Spartanburg city planner Natalia Rosario recently discussed what the process entails, why it's important, and how the public can engage in recent interviews with Dustin Wyatt of the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. You can access Wyatt's January 13 Wyatt Matters podcast here, and read his interview with Natalia here

Our team will keep you informed as the City of Spartanburg comprehensive plan takes shape. Click here to sign up to receive our Planning & Growth Updates for Spartanburg County
Learn from our Land Trust
UF's Land Conservation team is working on its first newsletter! It will feature stories from local landowners, conservation groups, and more, all centered around how we can be better stewards of the Upstate. To be added to the list, send your name and address to Caitlyn Smith at
Follow UF on social media
Want to receive updates from Upstate Forever as they happen? Follow along as we share the latest conservation news, announce newly protected lands, provide advocacy updates, post upcoming event details, and more on social media! You can like us on Facebook or follow on Instagram and Twitter.
More news & updates
Create a lasting legacy
When you make a planned gift to Upstate Forever, you help us achieve our goals for current and future generations while enjoying a wide variety of tax benefits. Visit our planned giving site to learn about bequests, IRA rollovers, charitable lead trusts, and other ways to give. Read more
Upcoming Events
ForeverGreen Annual Awards Luncheon – Monday, February 24 at the Embassy Suites on Verdae Blvd in Greenville. Read more

Stay tuned for information about volunteer opportunities, field work days, and member field trips this spring!
Do you know about our other mailing lists?

Greenville County Comprehensive Plan Updates
Upstate Forever wants to help demystify and empower citizens to influence the Comprehensive Plan update process. Join this dedicated mailing list to receive updates and alerts for all Greenville-based comp plans.

Planning & Growth Updates for Spartanburg County
Spartanburg County is growing rapidly, with more than 60,000 new residents projected by 2040. Whether you live or work in Spartanburg County or just care deeply about its future, our Land Planning & Policy team will keep you informed and actively engaged in shaping Spartanburg's future growth.

SC Legislative Updates
While the State Legislature is in session from January through May of each year, we dispatch a weekly Legislative Update recapping each week's important energy and conservation news. We also issue Action Alerts on critical, time-sensitive issues and provide the tools you need to contact your elected officials.

The Water Log (NEW!)
Water is our planet's most precious natural resource, and Upstate Forever is working to safeguard both the quantity and quality of water in our region. Our Clean Water team sends out a periodic newsletter dedicated to clean water issues and advocacy.

To sign up for one or all of the above lists, please click here and select the list(s) you'd like to join .
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Your tax-deductible gift to Upstate Forever will go directly toward protecting critical lands and saving special places in the Upstate.
Click the icons below to learn more about our work
Upstate Forever is a nonprofit conservation organization that protects critical lands, waters, and the unique character of Upstate South Carolina.  Over the past two decades, we have worked to protect the natural assets that make the Upstate so special — our farmlands, forests, natural areas, rivers, and clean air. We are committed to ensuring that our communities are vibrant and retain their green spaces, outdoor heritage, and unique identities in the face of rapid development and significant sprawl. Our vision is an environmentally healthy, economically prosperous Upstate that offers a high quality of life now and for future generations.

For more information, visit our website at or send us an email .