A critical step forward in implementing the Comprehensive Plan
This week, Greenville County Council passed an ordinance establishing a trust fund to help permanently protect Greenville’s natural and historic assets for residents, visitors, and future generations.
More than 300,000 new residents are anticipated to move to the Upstate by 2040, and more than half will likely make Greenville County their new home, “but that growth does not have to compromise our natural assets and quality of life,” says Andrea Cooper, Executive Director of Upstate Forever.
“Our Council showed true leadership this evening when they adopted the Greenville County Historic and Natural Resources Trust to conserve iconic places like our working farms and view sheds; expand existing parks and create new ones; develop an extensive trail network; and preserve historic structures — effectively protecting this incredible place as we continue to welcome new residents and businesses,” said Cooper.
The Greenville County Historic and Natural Resources Trust is a County program overseen by a Council-appointed board and will serve as a funding resource for eligible local landowners, agencies, governments, and nonprofits to protect land and historic resources in Greenville County. The ordinance includes specific criteria for applicants and projects, as well as procedures and guidelines for the County and the board as to how to manage and disburse grants.
Greenville County joins three other South Carolina Counties — Oconee, Beaufort, and Charleston — with similar conservation programs.
“This Trust will bring critical additional resources to Greenville County from State and Federal Programs, individuals and non-profit organizations,” said Doug Harper of Harper General Contractors and former Chairman of the South Carolina Conservation Bank Board. “Having a local public funding source is an important criterion when seeking outside grants and funding. This is an investment in our future that will pay big dividends. Besides protecting and enhancing our quality of life, it will help us recruit businesses and good jobs that seek areas with a strong conservation ethic and access to nature. Council was wise to adopt this ordinance.”
Council voted unanimously in favor, signaling a firm commitment to greenspace protection — a priority outlined in the recently adopted Comprehensive Plan.