East Cooper Land Trust, McClellanville seeking grant for conservation site

Charleston County News

MCCLELLANVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – The East Cooper Land Trust and the Town of McClellanville are working together to purchase the Deer Head Oak tree and nearby land for use as a public park and conservation site.

The oak, which is comparable to the Angel Oak in age and size, is an integral part of the town’s community. It has been nationally recognized “for its physical stature” and designated a heritage tree by the state. A spokesperson for East Cooper Land Trust appropriately described Deer Head Oak as a culturally irreplaceable site.

The property has been privately owned by the same family since the 1860’s. The family has allowed people to use the land for “picnics, family photos and engagement photos, and other typically passive park activities.” Now, the family is willing to sell the land and the oak to the town of McClellanville. East Cooper Land Trust “will hold a permanent conservation easement on the property to help secure the park’s character and prevent the threat of development on the property.”

The town and East Cooper Land Trust have applied to the Charleston County Greenbelt Program for a grant to help procure the land.

The buyers are not planning on making many changes to the land. They say the real goal is to get the land under town ownership and a permanent conservation easement. They have discussed possible future projects, such as planting more oaks and installing pollinator and rain gardens, but for now, those are just options.

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