Until the mid-1950’s Beaufort County could be described as an undiscovered, sea-island paradise, known mostly to its own residents and those lucky few who had learned about it through friends or by chance, as sometimes happened to lost motorists who wandered off Highway 17. But this is no longer the case. As Beaufort’s secret became more widely known, its scenic quality began to change. The population growth of the 1960’s and 1970’s brought some degree of visual blight, enough so that there was a general community awareness that Beaufort’s scenic character was in danger of being lost.
Three local citizens: Marguerite Broz, John M. Trask Jr. and Betty Waskiewicz decided that “something had to done.” As Beaufort’s secret became more widely known, its scenic natural beauty began to change. The result was the founding of the Beaufort County Open Land Trust, the first Land Trust in South Carolina. Since that time numerous other land trust organizations have been started across our state and nation. With support from our members, we partner with our community and local governments to protect your favorite places—properties that provide breathtaking open spaces, clean water resources, healthy wildlife habitat, and viable agriculture along with conserving resources for healthy, sustainable communities.