The mission of the Katawba Valley Land Trust
is to protect the natural resources, cultural resources, open lands, waters, and vistas of aesthetic value in the Catawba River Valley and surrounding areas.
The Katawba Valley Land Trust is a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to the protection of natural and cultural resources in the Catawba River Valley of South Carolina. Since 1992, we have worked with landowners who wish to preserve their land through conservation easements, donation, or sale. Many of our conservation efforts involve partnerships with local, state, or federal agencies and other non-government organizations. We are supported financially by individual membership dues, support from our corporate partners, and grants.
- KVLT has protected over 8,500 acres in five counties through conservation easements, acquisition, or transfer to other management agencies.
- Conservation education, including publication of several books, distribution of stunning photographs and post cards of our significant natural resources, research on wildlife species, public lectures, and environmental education efforts in the local schools are all part of the land trusts outreach efforts.
- KVLT regularly conducts nature walks, bird counts, paddling events and other such activities work to get adults and young people out into our natural environment.
- KVLT has made a firm commitment to being good stewards of the land we have protected, using national standards to monitor and manage our holdings and establishing a stewardship endowment to ensure perpetual care.
Conservation Through Partnerships
The Katawba Valley Land Trust has worked with numerous private, local, state and federal partners to accomplish conservation objectives in our 20-year history. Examples include:
- Expansion of the protected area around Landsford Canal State Park in Chester and Lancaster counties from 200 acres to over 1,400 acres through partnerships with private landowners and federal and state agencies.
- Creation of the Lancaster Greenway Preserve, a necklace of green through the City of Lancaster along the major creeks, providing urban open space of over 350 acres through purchase and donation of land by numerous private property owners.
- Purchase of the Heritage Tract, an area of stunning natural beauty surrounding the reservoirs at Great Falls in Chester County, protecting over 2,000 acres and supporting new economic opportunities for this distressed community.
- Protection of a working family farm in Chester and York counties through an innovative project to purchase development rights through funding from the South Carolina Conservation Bank. This project allowed the family to continue active farming into the fifth generation.
- Leadership in protecting the site of the Battle of Camden in Kershaw County through partnerships with a corporate owner, the Palmetto Conservation Foundation, and local private landowners. The protection of 475 acres ensures the preservation of one of the most important battle sites in South Carolina in the American Revolution.
- In partnership with The Nature Conservancy and state agencies, KVLT has worked to protect over 2,500 acres at the Forty-Acre Rock Heritage Site in eastern Lancaster County, home to unusual granite outcrops and a number of rare and endangered plant species.
- KVLT initiated the Catawba Master Naturalist Program, providing intensive training for citizen scientists in cooperation with Clemson University, USC-Lancaster, and other local entities.