Protecting Land & Water | Advocacy | Balanced Growth
Exciting news to share!

When Upstate Forever publicly launched the Crossroads Campaign this March, we had a goal of $7.5 million. Thanks to your generous support, we ended the campaign with a total of more than $8.4 million !

Why did Upstate Forever embark on this ambitious campaign? Because growth is coming. By 2040, more than 320,000 additional people will call the Upstate home. We want to welcome our new neighbors while being vigilant about the natural assets we love and depend on. As a conservation organization, we saw a need to take bold, immediate action to protect land, water, and the special character of the Upstate in light of such unprecedented growth.

Upstate Forever will use funds from Crossroads to help:

  • Permanently protect 15,000 additional acres of land by 2022
  • Safeguard the region’s water quality and quantity
  • Support our work with communities to reduce sprawl, and
  • Engage more voices for conservation and responsible growth practices

So if you gave through the campaign, or if you give through your annual membership and other contributions, THANK YOU! This crucial work could not happen without you. Here's to a green, vibrant, and prosperous future!

— Andrea Cooper, Executive Director
Comp plan unveiling is here!
Greenville County staff and their consultant team will "unveil" the draft comprehensive plan update TONIGHT, Oct. 24, from 6-8 pm at the Greenville Convention Center. This is a meeting you don't want to miss! For bonus points, check out our blog post: 5 Things Greenville County Can Do to Accommodate Growth and Limit Sprawl.
Public meeting: Lake Keowee
Join UF for a public meeting to discuss water quality in the Lake Keowee watersheds. This meeting is part of a grant-funded project to manage bacterial, sediment, & nutrient levels throughout the rivers & streams draining into Lake Keowee. It takes place TONIGHT, Oct. 24 from 6-7:30 pm at the Seneca Water Filter Plant. Learn more
An evening with Jeff Speck
UF is delighted to host Jeff Speck , one of the country's leading urban designers and walkability experts, on Thursday, Nov. 7, from 5:30-7:30 in Spartanburg. The event, called "Towards a More Walkable Spartanburg with Jeff Speck," will explore ways to enhance walkability in downtown Spartanburg and beyond. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. Learn more
Seeking environmental equity
Response to an environmental hazard can vary depending on where you live. UF is joining Village Engage on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 6 pm at Mountain View Baptist Church in Greenville for a critical conversation about how environmental injustice affects our local community and how people of faith can effect positive, measurable change. All are welcome! Learn more
Looking for an easy way to give to Upstate Forever this year? An IRA charitable rollover gift helps us achieve our goals for future generations.
If you are 70 ½ or older, you can use your individual retirement account (IRA) to support Upstate Forever. Making an IRA charitable rollover gift to us will lower the income and taxes from your IRA required minimum distributions. Contact Aldon Knight at (864) 250-0500 or
[email protected] to learn how you can create your legacy by making an IRA charitable rollover gift this year. 
Tons of energy efficiency tips
You may have heard the saying "The cheapest kilowatt hour is the kilowatt hour not used." Saving energy through efficiency measures definitely saves money in both the long and short term. To make it easier for you to be a bit more efficient, we have assembled as many EE resources as we could find and posted them to our blog. Check it out!
*New* Land Trust newsletter
UF's Land Conservation team is working on its first newsletter! It will feature stories from local landowners, conservation groups, and other interesting tidbits, all centered around how we can be better stewards of special places in the Upstate. To be added to the list, send your name and address to Caitlyn Smith at [email protected] .
Fall newsletter coming soon
The Upstate Advocate , Upstate Forever’s twice-yearly publication sponsored by Pacolet Milliken Enterprises , should hit mailboxes this week! The latest issue features nature stories told by ten Upstate residents. If you'd like to get a copy or be added to the mailing list, email Ava Thacker at [email protected] .
Speak up for safe streets
Upstate Forever stands behind the efforts of the SC Livable Communities Alliance to urge SC Department of Transportation (SC DOT) to adopt a policy that makes public streets safe and accessible to all. We believe that streets should be built for people -- not just cars. If you agree, contact the SC DOT Commission and tell them that safer streets benefit us all. 
More news & updates
Reflections from a Clemson City Council Member
We enjoyed this thoughtful Clemson Public Square post by Robert Halfacre, Clemson City Council member (and we appreciate his kind words about Upstate Forever). Click to read his thoughts on how the City of Clemson can foster and celebrate "an intricately‐woven, healthy, compassionate, supportive, and forward-thinking community."

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

Grab a Bag SC
Help us keep our state clean, beautiful, and litter-free! Join Lieutenant Governor Pamela Evette and PalmettoPride as we pick up litter in our communities. Grab a bag, rally some friends, put on a pair of gloves, and clean up your neighborhood. One bag can make a difference! After you’ve picked up your bag, challenge three friends to do the same. Just tag them on your favorite social platform and use #GrabABagSC. Learn more

Greer CPW Drug Take Back
Greer CPW and the Greer Police Department are hosting a Drug Take Back on Saturday, October 26. This is a great way to dispose of old and unused medications and ensure they don't wind up in our water supply. Learn more
Upcoming Events
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 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 .