Naturaland Trust celebrates 50 years of land conservation

October 27, 2023

With a celebration event held yesterday that drew more than 150 conservationists and civic and community leaders from across S.C., Naturaland Trust – a nonprofit land conservation trust established in 1973 by Greenville native Tommy Wyche – honored the Trust’s 50 years of protecting special, wild and open spaces within South Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, the Piedmont, and beyond.

One of the Southeast’s oldest conservation land trusts, Naturaland Trust has helped to protect more than 100,000 acres of open and wild spaces, most of which are now accessible to the public, since it was established in 1973 by Greenville attorney C. Thomas (“Tommy”) Wyche. Among these treasured public areas are the Jocassee Gorges, Raven Cliff Falls, Jones Gap State Park, Caesar’s Head State Park, Stumphouse Mountain, stretches of the South Saluda River, parts of the Swamp Rabbit Trail, important forests on the Reedy River, and miles of the viewshed of the Cherokee Foothills National Scenic Highway (Highway 11).

Brad Wyche, Tommy Wyche’s son, said: “Dad had the idea for Naturaland Trust when he took a business trip to Los Angeles and was horrified to see that their mountains were covered up with development. That’s when he realized that our beautiful South Carolina mountains were at risk. He decided to do something about it, and that was to start Naturaland Trust. There’s more work to be done, but with 100,000-plus acres now protected, Naturaland Trust has avoided a Los Angeles-type fate for our mountains.”

Frank Holleman, who serves as President of Naturaland Trust’s Board of Trustees, added, “During the last half century, Naturaland Trust has worked to preserve the important natural areas that make Upstate South Carolina a special place to live. During the next 50 years, we will continue striving to protect our treasured Blue Ridge Mountains and the forests, rivers, waterfalls, and wildlife that make this region a living wonderland.”

Mac Stone, Executive Director of Naturaland Trust, followed, “It is an honor to follow Tommy’s vision, protecting critical lands through support of private donors and our partnerships with local, state and federal agencies.”

Naturaland Trust held a celebration event on Thurs., Oct. 26 at The Westin Poinsett Hotel in downtown Greenville, S.C. with more than 150 donors and leaders from S.C. committed to the conservation of special places. The event’s program featured a special video followed by remarks from Brad Wyche, Frank Holleman, and Mac Stone.

About Naturaland Trust
Established by Tommy Wyche in 1973, Naturaland Trust is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to protecting South Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains and special places in the Piedmont and beyond. Learn more by visiting