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How Space Works

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What is a Land Trust?

Land trusts are local, state, or regional nonprofit organizations directly involved in protecting land for its natural, recreational, scenic, historical, or productive value. Land trusts are not “trusts” in the legal sense, and may also be called “conservancies”, “foundations”, or any other names descriptive of their purpose.

Some land trusts purchase or accept conservation easements (also known as conservation agreements) that restrict the future use of the land. Some land trusts purchase or accept donations of land and own the property fee-simple. Some land trusts manage these lands for public open space and provide nature preserves and trails.

Land trusts have the potential for bringing together a wide range of people in a community, such as farmers, hunters, landowners, elected officials, government staffers, naturalists, developers, community leaders, and others interested in preserving the unique aspects of their community.

Advantages of land trusts

As private organizations, land trusts can be more flexible and creative and can generally act more quickly than governmental agencies, since they are not as restrained by politics and procedures. They are able to negotiate with landowners discreetly, confidentially, and quickly.

Their nonprofit status brings them a variety of tax benefits. Donations to land trusts may qualify donors of land, conservation easements, or money for income, estate, or gift tax savings.

Because SPACE is local and small, we draw on community resources, including volunteer time and skills. We live here and know our community well. We know the land and we know the people. We have an abundance of expertise in the community to call on for help, such as at our local colleges, where we have experts in the fields of biology, GIS mapping, history, and more.

The Spartanburg Area Conservancy is a non-profit organization with a volunteer Board of Trustees. Our small, professional staff works closely with local landowners to identify and protect significant lands. We use various conservation tools to protect land, including tax-saving conservation easements, donations, and bargain sales. Each piece of property is unique, and so is each protection strategy utilized by the land owner and SPACE. We are a member of the Land Trust Alliance, and has adopted the Land Trust Standards and Practices, which provide the guidelines for ethical performance of land trusts.

Tax Incentives

Private land conservation can create significant tax benefits for landowners. To learn more click here.

Learn More

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SPACE is a nonprofit, charitable corporation, supported primarily through donations from private donors like you. Keep Spartanburg Wild: Support SPACE!

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