JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – Dozens of acres of land surrounding the Angel Oak Tree on Johns Island will be used for a preserve in the works.

According to the Lowcountry Land Trust, the design for the Angel Oak Preserve is nearly complete, but they’re hoping to gather more public input before finalizing the plans.

“A lot of what we’ve been doing is community outreach to make sure that this is a project that really benefits the Johns Island and greater Charleston community,” said Meg O’Halloran, the Chief Advancement Officer for Lowcountry Land Trust.

According to O’Halloran, a majority if the 44-acre preserve will be a public green space which will include boardwalks, trails and a nature play area for children.

“As we were doing our community outreach, we also heard from a lot of children that they really just wish they could climb the tree. And so, one of my favorite pieces of the Angel Oak Preserve is this nature play area, a natural playground where they can climb and they can explore and get their wiggles out,” O’Halloran explained.

She said part of the project will consist of moving parking away from the tree’s root system and closer to Bohicket Road.

“The parking lot itself isn’t what you would think of its going to be permeable surfaces designed with the land, mitigating stormwater runoff so that its something that really is from the land while still offering that accessibility,” O’Halloran said.

Depending on permitting, Lowcountry Land Trust anticipates they will break ground on the project within the next two years.

According to the City of Charleston, the Angel Oak Tree is estimated to be 300-400 years old and draws in around 400,000 visitors per year.

“We heard that it was a one-of-a-kind tree and just an amazing example of God’s creation. Can’t believe it’s that old,” said Sandy Dallmann, who travelled from Tennessee to visit Angel Oak Park.

The organization is asking the public to participate in an online survey to give input on the current design plans.

To view the schedule for upcoming community outreach events, click here.