Walhalla, SC --There is nothing like money in the bank, especially for a good cause. On December 6, Oconee Forever, a conservation outreach and education group of Oconee County residents, presented the Oconee County Conservation Bank (OCCB) with a check for $1,200.
Shea Airey, chairman of the OCCB, accepted the donation, noting that it was the first major donation received by the Conservation Bank. The donation consisted of the proceeds from Oconee Forever's spring bicycling and barbeque event, Rally in the Valley, that Oconee Forever members matched.
Oconee Forever is associated with Upstate Forever, a conservation organization based in Greenville, whose mission includes the protection of important conservation lands in Oconee County. A recent significant achievement of Upstate Forever includes the grant awarded by the State Conservation Bank for the protection of the Chau Ram property in Westminster.
The OCCB was created in 2011 by the Oconee County Council as an independent government body whose mission is to leverage available funds to protect important conservation lands in Oconee County. Receipt of funding will allow the OCCB to provide grants and financial assistance to landowners to conserve working farms, scenic areas, important wildlife habitat and historic sites. According to Airey, the OCCB has spent the months since its creation establishing the criteria and forms necessary to process and award grants to Oconee County landowners for the protection of conservation properties.
Airey said, “The OCCB will now focus on funding its mission and thanks Oconee Forever for stepping up with this significant start-up donation.”
Persons interested in donating to the OCCB may do so by mailing their tax-deductible contribution to: Oconee County Administrative Offices, ATTN: Conservation Bank, 415 S. Pine Street, Walhalla, SC, 29691. (Checks should be made out to the Oconee County Conservation Bank.)