Protecting Land & Water | Advocacy | Balanced Growth
2021 is off to a great start!

We're delighted to announce our first completed conservation project of 2021: The protection of the 20-acre Spring Park and Spring Park Inn on Main Street in Travelers Rest.

The late owner Nell Anderson Gibson generously donated the Spring Park Inn and its adjacent 20 acres to the Travelers Rest Historical Society and worked with Upstate Forever to protect the property through a conservation easement. A grant from the South Carolina Conservation Bank made possible the conservation easement that protects the land from future residential and commercial development. 

The Spring Park Inn will be restored and used by the Travelers Rest Historical Society as a house museum and educational space. Located just steps from the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail and in the heart of downtown Travelers Rest, the sprawling open space adjacent to the inn will someday be transformed into a park for the community to enjoy.

Click here to read more about this historic property and its protection.
Our 2021 advocacy priorities
We decide to engage in advocacy issues based on alignment with our mission and strategic goals. In each case, we assess whether the initiative is likely to have a measurable local impact to the ten-county Upstate region’s land and water resources. Read our advocacy priorities
Sign up for Legislative Updates
South Carolina's 124th session of the General Assembly convened last week. As always, our Energy & State Policy Director Shelley Robbins will be your source for conservation news from the Statehouse! Read her first Legislative Update of the session on our blog, and click here to sign up to receive these weekly updates in your inbox.
Tree ordinance advances & more
We're celebrating several recent local land planning and policy successes! Visit the UF blog to read updates on the City of Greenville's proposed tree ordinance, as well as the latest news about comprehensive plan updates for the cities of Greenville and Greer. Read more
Conservation funding for Greenville
Last month, Greenville County Council voted unanimously to establish the Greenville County Historic and Natural Resources Trust. This recent article from the Greenville Journal features Executive Director Andrea Cooper and local leaders discussing what the Trust could mean for our region's quality of life and economy. Read the article
More news & updates

Save the date: Environmental justice digital panel discussion on 2/24
Mark your calendar and plan to join us on Wednesday, February 24 at 12:00 pm for a virtual discussion about environmental justice issues impacting communities, often communities of color, in Upstate SC. Panelists will include leaders from the National Action Network, Greenville's New Washington Heights Community, South Carolina Environmental Law Project, and Sustaining Way, and the conversation will be moderated by UF Board member Chris Richardson. More information and registration details to come!

UF staff updates
Our team has much to celebrate this New Year:
  • Financial Director Joy Dickerson is celebrating five years with Upstate Forever this month! Communications Coordinator Megan Burton, Clean Water Advocate Megan Chase, and Land Conservation Specialist Caitlyn Gendusa are all celebrating their second anniversaries at UF this month.
  • We've recently welcomed Assistant Financial Manager Leigh McGill, and Land Conservation Specialist Richard Carr to the Upstate Forever team.
  • Lastly, in the sweetest staff news this month, GIS Coordinator Katie Hottel welcomed her son Bodie Mackay on Thursday, January 7. He joins big brother Lewis. Congratulations, Hottel family!

Congratulations to our recent giveaway winners
Last month, we gave away a YETI Tundra 45 cooler courtesy of our friends at Mast General Store, as well as Be the Upstate t-shirts and water bottles to several lucky email subscribers. Congratulations to UF supporter Alex Gadea, who has a great new cooler to bring on outdoor adventures, and Wade Sherard, Pam Datwyler, Morgan Danyi-Burton, Katie Rabe, and Tom Moore Craig, who are sporting some new UF swag! If you entered but did not win, thank you! Keep your eyes peeled for more giveaway opportunities this year.
Protected properties for sale
Are you interested in owning a property that has a conservation easement with Upstate Forever? Visit our website at to view properties that are currently for sale. For more information about a particular property, please contact the listing agent directly.
What legacy will you leave?
By including Upstate Forever in your will, trust, or estate plans, you can help protect our region's high quality of life for future generations. If you would like to learn more about planned giving or to request a copy of our free estate planning guide, contact Aldon Knight, Director of Development and Community Relations.
Do you know about our other mailing lists?

Thanks for signing up for the Upstate Update, Upstate Forever's general email newsletter. We also offer email lists dedicated to specific topics like clean water and land protection. To sign up for one or all of the lists below, please click here and select the list(s) you'd like to join.

Greenville County Land Planning & Policy Issues
Greenville County is growing rapidly, and our team is working to ensure that land use policies are in place that support smart, balanced growth. Sign up to receive these periodic updates and action alerts about land planning and policy issues in Greenville.

Planning & Growth Updates for Spartanburg County
Rapid change is already underway in Spartanburg, as are planning processes to better manage anticipated growth. 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.

Protect More Land
Land protection is the key to protecting what we love about the Upstate, but more funding is needed to protect our region's special places while we still have the opportunity. Get the latest updates on initiatives that support increased funding for conservation in the Upstate.

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
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.
Follow us on social media:
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.