November 2, 2023

Samantha Siegel, The Post and Courier

Commentary: Angel Oak’s legacy lives on a decade after preservation effort

Friday marks the 10th anniversary of a pivotal moment in the history of South Carolina — the culmination of a long campaign to save the iconic Angel Oak on Johns Island from the clutches of development.

The successful campaign demonstrated the power of citizen leadership to save a cherished natural and cultural space on the Sea Island and created something many refer to as the Angel Oak Effect.

For centuries, the sprawling and majestic Angel Oak has been more than just a tree; it has been a symbol of heritage, an embodiment of culture and a witness to history. This ancient live oak is not merely a natural wonder, but a living testament to the profound significance of the Lowcountry’s past and present in all its complexities.

In 2013, Lowcountry Land Trust purchased and permanently protected the 35 acres surrounding the approximately two-acre city-owned Angel Oak Park after a successful international activism and fundraising effort prevented a planned 600-home development that threatened wetlands and inland forest.

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