SPACE Seeks to Purchase and Permanently Protect the “Central Park of Spartanburg”

SPACE Seeks to Purchase and Permanently Protect the “Central Park of Spartanburg”

April 3rd 2024
Spartanburg Area Conservancy (SPACE), in partnership with Spartanburg County and the State of South Carolina, seeks to purchase and permanently protect 945 acres of undeveloped land adjacent to SPACE’s Glendale Shoals Preserve for $25 Million. 


The acquisition would be one of the largest conservation wins in the SC Upstate, and would add to the existing complex of conserved land in Glendale, SC which currently consists of nearly 150 protected acres owned by SPACE, The Tyger River Foundation, and Wofford College. 


If successful, the 945-acre property east of the Glendale Mill Property would be owned by the State of South Carolina, leased and managed by Spartanburg County Parks and Recreation as a public greenspace park, and permanently protected from development with a SPACE conservation easement. 


SPACE has requested funding assistance from the South Carolina Office of Resilience, the SC Conservation Bank, Spartanburg County, and other local private organizations and citizens to help raise funds to protect the property. “We have an incredible opportunity to conserve a critical piece of land in Spartanburg.” says Sam Parrott, Executive Director of SPACE, “It’s going to take a community-wide commitment to conservation to achieve this goal.”  


Raleigh West, Executive Director of the SC Conservation Bank that voted in March to fund $3 million towards the acquisition of the 945 acres, adds “Opportunities to acquire urban green spaces of this size are increasingly uncommon. This property’s connectivity with other protected properties makes it even more valuable for conservation and outdoor recreation. We remain cautiously optimistic that all the pieces will line up for this project to close.” 


“With the rate of development in Spartanburg, this is our last chance to protect and create a publicly accessible greenspace of this size so close to town.” explains Mr. Parrott. “We’re extremely fortunate to have this opportunity and are so thankful for all of our funding partners and supporters at the state and local level.”


Located less than 5 miles from downtown Spartanburg, the new park would be the largest publicly accessible greenspace in Spartanburg outside of Croft State Park; some are even calling it the “Central Park of Spartanburg.” David Britt, Spartanburg County Councilman, states “this has the potential to be a great asset to the Spartanburg community.”    


“Details of the new park are still being worked out,” says Manning Lynch, Spartanburg County Council Chairman, “but it would remain mostly natural with trails for people to hike, bike or picnic in the park.”


“Protecting this land is important because of the undeveloped nature of the tract and the fact that this land can absorb rainfall particularly well, helping mitigate the impacts of future flooding and drought,” said Carissa Cochrane, a spokesperson for the Office of Resilience. The state agency, created in 2021 to help mitigate future risk of flooding in SC, has been asked to fund the bulk of the purchase price. “We're excited to coordinate and collaborate with the SC Conservation Bank, SCPRT, and Spartanburg area stakeholders on this wonderful project,” Cochrane said.


“It’s not often we get the chance to work on a true legacy project,” says Laura Stille, SPACE Board Chair, “but this is one that I hope will be enjoyed by my grandchildren and even their grandchildren. I’m proud to play a part in it.”    


With closing tentatively scheduled for June 2024, there are still several votes to approve funding requests that need to take place, including the SC Office of Resilience and Spartanburg County Council. “We still need a lot of things to go right in order to purchase this stunning property.” says Parrott. “To date, this project has received wonderful support locally and statewide. Our community’s quality of life is tied directly to the presence of, and access to, greenspaces. We’re all hopeful that we’ll be able to celebrate this as a win for local conservation and the citizens of Spartanburg County and the State of South Carolina.”

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The Spartanburg Area Conservancy (SPACE) is a 501(c)3 non-profit land trust in Spartanburg, SC with the mission to preserve, protect, and promote natural resources and open spaces in Spartanburg County.  Established in 1989, SPACE has protected over 5,555 acres of natural lands in the Spartanburg area. Additionally, SPACE owns and manages publicly-accessible greenspace parks, including the Edwin M. Griffin Preserve (home of the Cottonwood Trail), the Glendale Shoals Preserve, and the Upper Chinquapin Greenway. Visit or email for more information.  


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