Following a year-long study to identify Palmetto Bluff’s most environmentally critical habitats, Crescent Communities has committed to the expansion of the Crescent managed forest area by an additional 90-acres, protecting this land from development and allowing the organization to study and maintain the land in a way that is best suited for the long-term health of the community, and ensuring healthy wildlife habitats. This land donation brings the total protected acres at Palmetto Bluff to 12,631, a combination of Crescent Communities managed forest (approximately 7,000 acres) and the contiguous Walcam managed forest.
When Crescent Communities purchased Palmetto Bluff in 2000, it realized the environmental integrity of the land and immediately created the Palmetto Bluff Conservancy to ensure that the stewardship practices of previous owners were continued. To keep sacred what is so special about Palmetto Bluff, Crescent set out to develop the community with one primary priority: preserving the unique natural environment of the property. Jay Walea, who has worked at Palmetto Bluff since 1990, serves as director of the Conservancy and works closely with the Charlotte-based ownership group to ensure Palmetto Bluff’s natural resources and vast wildlife is not only intact but flourishing alongside the planned development. Today, Palmetto Bluff is home to 466 families, with the long-term plan of developing another 3,500 homes. A portion of every home site and home sale helps fund the non-profit organization.
“To us, Palmetto Bluff is a very special place. It’s not a just development project,” said Crescent Communities Executive Vice President, Resort and Second Home David O’Donoghue. “We know the true value of this community lies in its beautiful, open landscape, and we want to ensure that remains as we move forward with our vision to welcome more owners and visitors to this special place in the decades ahead. The needs and interests of the land and wildlife lead everything we do here at Palmetto Bluff, and we’re in great hands with the Conservancy team helping to ensure that the Bluff’s original inhabitants, its wildlife, prosper.”
Palmetto Bluff has long been anchored by the charming Wilson Village, home to the award-winning Montage Palmetto Bluff. In March 2017, a second village, Moreland, will debut, bringing a new hub of social activity to the Bluff, with restaurants, a bowling alley, fitness centers, retail and indoor-outdoor event spaces. Moreland Village will also become the new home to the Conservancy and History Center, where residents and guests can stop in to meet Dr. Mary Socci, Palmetto Bluff’s on-site archeologist, and learn details of the land and its inhabitants dating back to 10,000 B.C. The Conservancy team will offer visitors a creative space to learn about and become involved with the organization’s efforts, with weekly programming that includes lectures on flora and fauna, as well as Palmetto Bluff’s historical aspects, guided nature walks and more.
Crescent Communities’ commitment to the Palmetto Bluff Conservancy and the land is apparent in every aspect of the new Moreland Village development, as well as property-wide. Since 2003, Crescent has protected hundreds of acres of land through conservation easements and significantly reduced the number of homes originally planned to be built, cutting the number almost in half.
“The dedication of this beautiful piece of land is just another example of Crescent Communities’ commitment to be good stewards of the land and to preserve precious habitats and green space for all current and future inhabitants,” said Jay Walea, director of the Palmetto Bluff Conservancy.
“The donation of these 90 acres is a major advancement in our wildlife management efforts. This piece of land is made up of several different habitats, some of which are by nature very environmentally sensitive, so we’re excited to be able to care for it closely. Not only is there stunning beauty here, there is also historic significance. Remnants of old rice fields can be found here, as well as intact dike systems that bordered these rice fields. We’re honored to be able to preserve and showcase this history and beauty to owners and visitors.”
To learn more about the Palmetto Bluff Conservancy efforts or get involved, please visit www.palmettobluff.com/experience/conservation.
About Palmetto Bluff Conservancy:
The Conservancy at Palmetto Bluff was founded in 2003 with a mission of protecting the lush maritime forests and winding tidal creeks that defined the spectacular geography of the land that is home to Palmetto Bluff. By maintaining the ecological and environmental integrity of the lands at the confluence of the May, Cooper and New Rivers, the Conservancy is able to ensure that the ancient maritime forest or live oak and palmetto are almost exactly as William Hilton saw them 400 years ago. The Palmetto Bluff Conservancy is dedicated to increasing the understanding of the natural and cultural environment of the Lowcountry. From biological and archaeological studies by PhD-level scientists to the “citizen science” bluebird survey, the Conservancy team is actively involved in a number of research initiatives at the Bluff. Current projects include surveys of alligator, turtle, white-tailed deer, and bird populations; monitoring of bald eagle nests; a study of cavity-nest use and correlation with habitat; and the analysis of artifacts from antebellum Pettigrew Plantation.
About Palmetto Bluff:
Situated in the Lowcountry of South Carolina between Charleston and Savannah, Palmetto Bluff is the largest remaining waterfront property on the East Coast and part of the Crescent Communities residential real estate portfolio. Currently evolving as a residential community and conservation preserve, the 20,000-acre development is surrounded by 32 miles of riverfront and features extensive nature trails; a vibrant Village center complete with river access, boat storage and canoe club; a distinctive food and beverage program; the AAA Five Diamond Montage Palmetto Bluff resort; and a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. An array of southern-style residential neighborhoods ranging from multi-million-dollar legacy family compounds to more traditionally sized, single-family lots are currently available.