GEORGETOWN, South Carolina – Mrs. Lucille V. Pate and her family continue a long history of land stewardship by granting a Ducks Unlimited conservation easement for Arcadia Plantation. The 3,612-acre easement permanently protects some of the most historically and environmentally important habitat in South Carolina’s Lowcountry.
“We are very pleased to be involved in the permanent protection of this crucial Lowcountry habitat,” said Craig LeSchack, Ducks Unlimited Director of Conservation Programs for the South Atlantic. “Because of the intensity of land development in the Lowcountry in general, and around Georgetown in particular, the preservation of Arcadia Plantation will yield a significant public benefit.”
George Washington arrived at Captain Wm. Alston’s property on April 29, 1791. Alston’s Clifton Plantation was one of seven prosperous rice plantations that comprise current-day Arcadia Plantation. President Washington later wrote that the property “stands on a sandhill, high for the country, with his rice fields below, the contrast of which with the lands back of it, and the sand and piney barrens through which we had passed is scarcely to be conceived”.
Two-hundred and sixteen years later, the beauty and awe of this property along the Waccamaw River remains. The conservation easement will ensure that it does so in perpetuity.
The land Arcadia Plantation sits on not only resonates history, but also is very ecologically diverse. Habitats on the site include longleaf pine flatwoods, pine mixed hardwoods, tidal rice fields, tidal forested wetlands, nontidal swamp forests, nontidal wet hardwood forests and freshwater impoundments. The conservation easement boundary also protects the scenic nature of nearly five miles of river frontage along the Waccamaw River.
“Development of this tract would lead to the degradation of the scenic natural character of the Winyah Bay and its associated nearby conservation lands,” LeSchack said. “Mrs. Pate and her family should be congratulated for their conservation ethic and land stewardship principles.”
From managing freshwater wetlands for waterfowl and wading birds to funding and supporting ecological research, Arcadia’s owner, Mrs. Lucille V. Pate and her family have continued a long history of land stewardship. By granting the conservation easement to Ducks Unlimited’s Wetlands America Trust, they clearly demonstrate their commitment to future generations.
“We have a long-standing relationship with Ducks Unlimited and we are honored to have been able to preserve Arcadia’s future,” Mrs. Pate said.
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization with over 12 million acres conserved. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands – nature’s most productive ecosystem – and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres each year.