Now Conserved: Camp Discovery in Blythewood!
COLUMBIA, SC—Over 116 acres just east of Blythewood in Richland County are now conserved, thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Congaree Land Trust (CLT) and Camp Discovery at His Acres, Inc. Situated on 116 scenic acres of forests, fields, creeks and streams in Blythewood, Camp Discovery is a non-profit that has been educating the public through nature since 1985, with the campus providing an ideal outdoor learning environment for year-round exploration and hands-on learning in a local, natural setting. Now under conservation easement, this land is permanently protected for future generations to experience the natural heritage of central South Carolina.
“We are very thankful to the landowners for working with us to conserve this notable property,” remarks Mary Crockett, CLT Land Protection Director. “Camp Discovery has been a community partner of CLT for some time, and we are thrilled to help them realize the permanent protection of land that serves as such an important educational resource for our community.”
Camp Discovery’s forests, fields, creeks and streams provide diverse habitat for abundant wildlife, such as white tailed deer, cottontail rabbits, and wild turkey, while supporting up to thirty species of birds throughout the year. Its hardwood creek bottoms are especially attractive to Neotropical migratory birds in the spring and fall, whose populations have seen a decline due to habitat fragmentation and loss. The aquatic habitat of Simmons Creek and Hood Branch, two creeks located on the property, support reptile, amphibian and insect life, while providing an outdoor classroom for the public to experience local freshwater ecosystems.
A notable historic element exists on the property—a surviving corn crib structure from the 1800’s. The corn crib is an early architectural example of an outbuilding that farms and homesteads used for crop storage in Richland County over 150 years ago. Most of these structures that characterized the state’s farm landscapes are long gone by now, but people visiting Camp Discovery can experience this piece of history, along with the natural and scenic beauty the landscape provides.
“Placement of Camp Discovery's property under the Congaree Land Trust agreement achieves two significant goals in the life and future of our organization. It ensures the protection and preservation of this unique space will endure for generations regardless of continued urban growth and development; and, it recognizes the legacy of our founder Donna C. Johnson, her vision for the importance of staying connected to the natural world and her generous support in making this possible,” says Tom Summerford, of Camp Discovery’s Board of Trustees. “The impact and foresight in protecting our heritage, our community and our mission will be increasingly significant over time. Thanks to all at Camp Discovery and Congaree Land Trust who’ve worked for the last several years to make this day a reality.”
About Congaree Land Trust: The Congaree Land Trust (CLT) is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization committed to conserving the natural and scenic lands in central South Carolina. Since 1992, CLT has conserved 88,107 acres, representing 187 individual conservation easements across 13 counties. Conserving local land helps maintain the health of our watersheds, enhance outdoor education and recreation, and protect water and air quality for citizens. Learn more about CLT’s work at https://congareelt.org