Rocky River Nature Park protected

July 23, 2016

Anderson University partners with Upstate Forever to permanently protect 132-acre park

ANDERSON, SC – Anderson University has partnered with local conservation group Upstate Forever to permanently protect Rocky River Nature Park. The University committed 132 acres of wetlands and forest to help create the park, which is operated for public use by the nonprofit Rocky River Conservancy.

Located less than two miles from downtown Anderson, the park is home to 108 species of birds, 21 species of fish, 18 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 10 species of mammals. Now the property is protected from future development through a legally binding, permanent conservation agreement signed by the University and monitored by Upstate Forever, an accredited land trust. The group protects 106 properties totalling over 20,000 acres across the region.

“Rocky River Nature Park is a gem of wetlands and wildlife,” said Andrea Cooper, Executive Director of Upstate Forever. “As Anderson continues to grow, it is vital to protect this special place. Anderson University has made a huge gift to the community.”



“It is important to Anderson University to be not only a good steward of this precious resource adjacent to our campus, but also to enrich our community,” said Dean Woods, Anderson University Vice President, who also serves on the Rocky River Conservancy board. “While we have always been a cultural resource for the Anderson area and an economic boost as well, this is a chance to provide something that will benefit generations.”

This project was made possible in part through a grant from the South Carolina Conservation Bank. For more information about the park, visit


Upstate Forever is a nonprofit, membership-based organization promoting sensible growth and the protection of special places in the Upstate region of South Carolina. Our three program areas are Land Trust, Sustainable Communities, and Clean Air and Water. Founded in 1998, Upstate Forever now has nearly 2,000 members, two offices, and a staff of 19.  

Anderson University is a selective comprehensive university offering bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees on campus and online.  Anderson is ranked in the Top Tier (#16) of US News and World Report’s America’s Best Colleges and is on that publication’s list of the most innovative universities in America (#2 in The South).  It is also ranked as one of America’s “100 Best College Buys.”