Leaving a Family Legacy
Brothers Leland and Jeffrey Reynolds have a lot in common. Besides their shared heritage, the two oversee their second-generation family business, enjoy hobbies including hunting and fishing, and have a love of flying, and volunteer to demonstrate a deep, long standing commitment to their community’s shared future.
Last year, both Leland and Jeffrey took steps to deepen that commitment when, together, they preserved over 740 acres of family lands in Aiken and Barnwell Counties, SC. Stemming from their common desire to leave a legacy for the next generation, the two brothers embarked on two distinctly unique journeys with the Central Savannah River Land Trust to conserve the beauty of their community’s iconic landscape.
Jeffrey’s project, located in northern Aiken County, buffers the headwaters of Shaw’s Creek, which feeds farms and neighborhoods stretching from the Central Savannah River Area to the coast. By preserving these 394 acres of pine and hardwood, Jeffrey’s project ensures that the creek begins its journey with a healthy supply of clean water. It also protects habitat for local wildlife- habitat that is becoming increasingly scarce as Aiken County continues to boom and grow.
Not far downriver, Leland’s project safeguards 350 acres of forest surrounding Gants Mill Creek, a key tributary to the Savannah River. Nestled in the center of the project lies a stunning pond and wetland area- an important refuge for migratory birds and local waterfowl. Surrounding the creek, Leland raises timber for sustainable harvest, providing extra income for his family while sequestering precious carbon and purifying our air and water resources. “By putting an easement on the land,” Leland says, “I am able to save money while ensuring the land stays undeveloped forever and is available for future generations.”
These projects, together with the brothers’ previous conservation efforts, protect nearly two square miles of South Carolina’s landscape, forever preserving its rural character and charm. In the years to come, the land trust hopes to partner with more landowners like Leland and Jeffrey, knitting together a network of preserves and protected areas that we can all be proud to pass on to our children, and their children’s children.
Published June 2010
Photo by Hazel Langrall, Central Savannah River Land Trust