Protecting Land & Water | Advocacy | Balanced Growth
955 acres donated to Jones Gap State Park
Upstate Forever will protect the property forever
Jones Gap State Park has become approximately 25 percent larger following a donation of 955 acres to the SC Department of Parks, Recreations & Tourism (SCPRT) from The Nature Conservancy. The property, known as Gap Creek, is protected in perpetuity by a conservation easement held by Upstate Forever. Although Gap Creek is not currently open to the public, Parks officials say it could expand capacity and public access to Jones Gap State Park in coming years. 

Thanks to your support, Upstate Forever’s land trust will ensure that this property, along with its scenic vistas and natural resources, will be preserved forever. We are grateful to the many dedicated individuals and organizations who made this project a success, including The Nature Conservancy, SCPRT, South Carolina Conservation Bank, Open Space Institute and other generous supporters. 

In addition to healthy hardwood forests and headwater streams, this property is home to several rare and iconic species, including Rafinesque’s big-eared bat, green salamander, showy orchis, Carolina fantail darter, black bear and a newly discovered species of trillium, currently known as Jones Gap trillium.  Read the entire press release from SCPRT

Upstate Forever is proud to support this project that will ultimately expand outdoor recreation access for Upstate residents and visitors. Your gift will help us protect even more critical and iconic places across the region.
Help shape the growth of Greenville County
As part of the county's comprehensive planning process, a second round of community workshops are being held. We encourage Greenville Co. citizens to attend, learn more & voice your opinions. Get workshop details and sign up for GVL Comp Plan email updates
Intentional inclusion
Members of the UF staff and board of directors recently spent a day with Dr. Nika White diving deep into the importance of diversity, inclusion and representation. We are working to ensure our staff, board, and supporters offer everyone a seat at the table.
Groups collaborate to protect ultra-rare plant
A habitat of bunched arrowhead, one of the rarest plants on Earth, has been protected from development in Travelers Rest thanks to the collaborative effort of local citizens and conservation organizations. Learn more about this conservation success story
Land Stewardship Manager
We are looking to fill an integral role in our Land Conservation program. The Land Stewardship Manager will monitor a robust inventory of conservation easements, participate in outreach and education programs, and more. View the job description and details
Summer activities across the Upstate
It's official: Summer has arrived! Here's how you'll find the Upstate Forever staff enjoying the season:

"My husband and I love going to the Saturday Market in downtown Greenville — don't miss the chicken breakfast tacos from the Papi's Tacos booth! — and taking a walk afterwards. We like to find shady trails in nearby Cleveland Park and along the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail." – Katie Hottel, GIS Coordinator

"Our family heads to the mountains to reconnect. From tree climbing with cousins to fishing for smallmouth bass and enjoying s'mores around the fire, we always have a great time. No cell phones necessary!" – Joy Dickerson, Assistant Financial Director

"I recently tried whitewater kayaking along the Chattooga River. It was exhilarating and I can't wait to get out there again soon!" – Andrea Cooper, Executive Director

"Jocassee Lake Tours are spectacular this time of year. Sit back and relax on a pontoon as a naturalist leads you through winding coves to gorgeous waterfalls. It's a great way to spend a summer afternoon or evening."  – Aldon Knight, Director of Development and Community Relations

Looking for more summer activities? Visit to get inspired by our "15 Adventures, 15,000 Acres" blog.
UF's newest team member
We are thrilled to welcome Drew Brittain to the Upstate Forever team as a Land Protection Specialist. An Upstate native and Clemson graduate, Drew will be working with Upstate landowners who want to permanently protect their land through conservation easements. Get to know Drew
Threats to land & water
Chambers English, our summer Conservation Lands Stewardship Fellow through Furman University's Shi Center for Sustainability, explores the challenges our forestlands are facing and how Upstate landowners can help conserve our natural resources. Read the article
More news & events
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

Want to get the  Upstate Advocate ?
The  Upstate Advocate is Upstate Forever’s twice-yearly publication, published each spring and fall and sponsored by  Pacolet Milliken Enterprises. You can  find it online at our website. If you'd like to be added to the mailing list for future issues, email Ava Thacker at

Mark your calendars

  • Lake Conestee Nature Park Volunteer Clean Up Day: Saturday, September 15
  • Members Only Field Trip and Tour of Happy Cow Creamery: Saturday, September 28, 2019.
  • Upstate Forever's Annual Meeting at Lake Conestee Nature Park: Sunday, October 13, 2019.
  • Members Only Field Trip and Tour of Furman University's David E. Shi Center for Sustainability: Thursday, October 24.

Stay tuned for additional information about these upcoming events!
Do you know about our other mailing lists?

Greenville County Comprehensive Plan Updates
This year Greenville County has begun developing an updated Comprehensive Plan — a process that takes place once every 10 years. 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.

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 .