Protecting Land & Water | Advocacy | Balanced Growth
Photo by Mac Stone / Naturaland Trust
Oconee's Chau Ram Park has more than doubled in size
Upstate Forever is excited to share the latest property placed under a conservation easement by our nationally accredited land trust — Chauga Heights. This beautiful 212-acre property along the Chauga River in Oconee County will be added to the adjacent Chau Ram County Park, which will more than double the size of the park.

This conservation success was the result of vision, funding, and dedication on the part of many partners:

  • The South Carolina Conservation Bank provided a $550,000 grant.
  • Naturaland Trust applied for the grant, purchased the property, and transferred it to Oconee County.
  • Oconee County provided a $230,000 investment in the project alongside the Conservation Bank grant and has taken ownership of the property in order to expand public recreation opportunities at Chau Ram Park.
  • Upstate Forever holds the conservation easement that will ensure that the property is protected in perpetuity.

We are honored to protect this beautiful property forever, and grateful to all the partners who worked to make it happen. Upstate Forever now protects 23,158 acres across the Upstate.
Psst, don't forget! RSVP by Oct. 9 for Upstate Forever's Annual Meeting on Sunday, Oct. 13 from 2:00-5:00 pm at Lake Conestee Nature Park. Read more
Fall newsletter coming soon
The Upstate Advocate, Upstate Forever’s twice-yearly publication sponsored by Pacolet Milliken Enterprises, will hit mailboxes soon! If you'd like to be added to the mailing list, email Ava Thacker at
SC's new solar rules RULE !
A recent op-ed by our own Shelley Robbins says new solar energy rules in South Carolina will offer consumers substantial benefits even beyond emissions control — think lowering your power bill and increasing economic development. Read the op-ed
Shi Center tour: limited spots
UF members are invited to join us October 24 from 10 - 11 am on an exclusive tour of Furman University’s David E. Shi Center for Sustainability and Furman Farm. Space is limited to 15 attendees, so RSVP early to claim your spot! Read more
Hey, Greenville residents
The County is in the final stages of creating a plan to determine how and where ~222,000+ new residents will be accommodated by 2040. Learn more in this recent Greenville News article and sign up for email updates from UF on this important process.
UF and partners receive grant to study grassland bird habitat
Upstate Forever, Clemson University, and Lake Conestee Nature Park have received a grant from The Cornell Lab and Land Trust Alliance's Land Trust Bird Conservation Initiative to study, determine, and share best management practices to restore and improve grassland bird habitats. Read more
Energy Efficiency Day - 10/2
We are gearing up for National Energy Efficiency Day on Wednesday, Oct. 2. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for tips on how to save energy AND money through easy efficiency measures.
Catch a Friday night film
The Mountain Bridge Chapter of Trout Unlimited is proud to bring you the 2019 premiere of the Fly Fishing Film Tour in Greenville at Brewery 85 TONIGHT, Sept. 27. Get your tickets today!
Calling all art lovers
The 8th Annual Art on the Trail fundraising event for Travelers Rest Artists Alliance will take place Oct. 5 and will feature a special lecture from former National Park Service photographer Frank Ruggles.
Housing + Health
Join Impact Greenville on Oct. 14 for Housing is Good Medicine: A Prescription for a Healthy Community, a discussion on health & housing strategies to improve long and short-term health outcomes.
Make a tax-free gift from your IRA
Are you 70 1/2 years of age or older? If so, you may be able to make charitable contributions directly from your IRA to a qualified 501(c)(3) organization and avoid paying income tax. Cary H. Hall of the Wyche Law Firm explains what 2017 changes to the tax code mean for nonprofits and their donors on this guest blog post. Read more
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

Save these dates
Do you know about our other mailing lists?

Greenville County Comprehensive Plan Updates
Greenville County is in the final stages of 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.

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 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 .
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 .