County approves money to preserve Angel Oak Tree - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

County approves money to preserve Angel Oak Tree

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The Lowcountry Open Land Trust made a public announcement that they will work to preserve the Angel Oak with money from the county.

With approval from Charleston County Council Tuesday, the group can now work on 17-acres of land surrounding the tree that's been there for centuries.

The approval locks down $2.4 million to help fund the park around the Angel Oak.

"For those who think there will be water slides over there, get that out of your mind," Tom O'Rourke from Charleston County Parks and Recreation said. "Sometimes good management means doing nothing or little, what's important are the stories to this area, this region, certainly this tree."

They're hoping to propel stories into the future, stories of the Native Americans that would gather here, through the British Settlement and after the Civil War.

"This tree has lived anywhere from 700 to 1400 years so far depending on how you analyze it but we want it to live a lot longer and it needs an expanded forest that's natural to do that," Elizabeth Hagood said.

So they'll expand into the woods between the tree and Bohicket Road, claiming they will have minimal impact on the environment and spread education to the nearby schools like Haut Gap Middle School.

For out-of-town guests visiting the tree Wednesday the preserve sounded better than the 365 apartments and commercial buildings that could have otherwise been approved. "It's impressive, it's an awesome tree, I don't think they should build anything around it," Kelly Reynolds said.

Now the cost of not building commercial real estate is 2/3 covered while they work to raise $1.2 million in the next 60 days. That money, they said, secures the expansion of the preserve project.

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