Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. One of the remarkable features of our state is the incredible diversity that comes from our encompassing mountains, foothills, piedmont, sandhills and coastal plains ecosystems. Conservationists recognized the threats to special sites with the increase in development, and in 1974, South Carolina was the first state in the nation to take steps to protect and preserve the most important sites due to unique geographical features, rare animal/plant communities, or cultural significance. The Nature Conservancy worked with government agencies and leaders and in 1974, Governor John West created the Heritage Trust Advisory Board. Private citizens from each congressional district now work with representatives from agencies ranging from DNR to Archives and History to provide leadership and direction for this agency’s activities. Today, 75 sites, containing 95,000 acres have been protected by this program, from Atlanta white cedar bogs to Edgefield pottery kilns.