Oconee Forever Hosts Landowners for Brunch ... and Information

Thirty Oconee landowners enjoyed a delicious complimentary brunch of homemade breakfast casseroles and quiche, fruit compote and granola on Saturday, Jan. 18, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Walhalla. 

The landowners also learned about conservation easements from host Oconee Forever as its members and guests shared their expertise and stories.  Speakers were Shea Airey, chair, Oconee County Conservation Bank; Rex Ramsey, local landowner, and Erin Knight, Land Trust director, Upstate Forever. 

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Rex Ramsey, local landowner, relates the story of his family’s land and how he’s used conservation easements to protect it.

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Shea Airey, chair, Oconee County Conservation Bank, describes the process of leveraging conservation easements to preserve family lands and help the environment.

  

 

Rally In The Valley 2013

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“Despite the stormy weather, we were able to double the number of participants over the inaugural 2012 event and raised more than twice as much funds,” said Bettina George, OF volunteer.

“We were pleased to see riders and attendees from as far as Savannah, Charleston, and Atlanta area,” George continued.

OF volunteer Shea Airey commented, "Many individuals came just to enjoy the food, music and drink. Others came for the bicycle ride. Still others came to see our vendors, who are all local producers and crafts people. In a setting overlooking the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, one can appreciate and celebrate our natural resources and have a great time all at once." 

Check the Gallery tab for more photos of Rally in the Valley 2013.

The 30-milers get their last minute instructions.

The 30-milers get their last minute instructions.

Tokeena Angus Farm Hosts Oconee Forever Event

Please join Oconee Forever for soup, sandwiches and dessert, great music by Conservation Theory, and "Protecting Family Farms and Forests," a presentation by Van Whitehead, Deputy Director of Upstate Forever.

Tokeena Angus Farm, January 19, 2013, 11:30-1:30 pm.  RSVP by January 15th to Doug Young (c) 247-3900, dgyoung@bellsouth.net

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Directions:  Turn onto Pine Grove Rd. approximately .5 miles south of the intersections of Highway 59 and Highway 24. Go almost exactly 4 miles on Pine Grove Rd. Tokeena Angus will be on the right, just past several blue poultry houses. If you get to a stop sign, turn around and go back approximately 1.4 miles, and the barn will be on your left. The barn is brown ship-lap boards in front with a red tin back and a quilt square under the porch roof. You can also park across the road up the driveway along the fence line beside the mobile home.

Oconee Forever Donates To Conservation Bank

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.)

Shea Airey, far right, chairman of the Oconee County Conservation Bank, accepts a $1,200 donation from Oconee Forever's Alice Wald, second from right, at OCCB’s December 6 meeting.  Other Conservation Bank members present were: left to right, Andy Lee, Rocky Nation, Lynn Harwell, Ed Land, Marvin Prater.

Shea Airey, far right, chairman of the Oconee County Conservation Bank, accepts a $1,200 donation from Oconee Forever's Alice Wald, second from right, at OCCB’s December 6 meeting.  Other Conservation Bank members present were: left to right, Andy Lee, Rocky Nation, Lynn Harwell, Ed Land, Marvin Prater.