SOUTH CAROLINA (May 17, 2023)—Audubon South Carolina announced the addition of two new properties totaling 410 acres to be restored, managed and permanently preserved as part of its Audubon Center & Sanctuary at Francis Beidler Forest.

“The addition of 410 acres to Audubon’s Beidler Forest Sanctuary is not only great for birds and wildlife, it's also great for the Charleston area community,” said Audubon Executive Director Rebecca Haynes. “Protecting these lands will help us all with floodwater storage, water quality protection, and carbon sequestration. We need these critical ecosystem services now more than ever.” 

The acquisitions include 380 acres of forested land along Dean Swamp in Berkeley County, which was donated to Audubon by Volvo Car USA as part of efforts to mitigate impacts associated with the development of the company’s Berkeley County-based manufacturing plant.  

Earlier this month, Audubon also took ownership of a 30.39-acre property, known as the GENCO tract, located along Four Holes Swamp in an unincorporated area of Orangeburg County. 

“GENCO’s wetlands and forested upland buffer provide essential habitat for vulnerable wildlife including Swainson’s Warblers, spotted turtles and several salamander species,” said Tim Evans, director of land conservation for Audubon. “As the only forested buffer between the region’s primary water source and a growing industrial complex, I rest easier knowing the property won’t be sold for industrial development in the future,” he continued. 

Audubon was able to complete the GENCO tract purchase thanks in part to a generous donation by Henry and Susan Smythe. 

Audubon has started the multi-year process to restore these properties to their original condition, and will manage the lands in perpetuity, using the same bird- and climate-friendly forestry techniques the organization promotes to landowners and foresters across the state through its Healthy Forests program. 


About Audubon South Carolina 
Audubon South Carolina protects birds and the places they need, right here in South Carolina. We’re the state office of the National Audubon Society, which has more than one million members and a century-long track record of success. In South Carolina, we represent nearly 30,000 Audubon members and supporters, nine Audubon chapters and bird club partners, two Audubon nature centers and more than 30,000 acres of land that we own and manage using bird- and climate-friendly forestry. Learn more about what we do and how to help at Follow us on Facebook at @scaudubon, Twitter at @audubonsc, and Instagram at @audubon_sc.

About Audubon Center & Sanctuary at Francis Beidler Forest
Home to the world’s largest old-growth, cypress-tupelo swamp forest, Beidler Forest is an 18,000-acre bird and wildlife sanctuary spanning parts of Dorchester, Berkeley and Orangeburg Counties in South Carolina. It is a state recognized Important Bird Area, a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance, and a site of significance on the National Park Service’s Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program. Visitors can enjoy a range of wildlife, thousand-year old trees, and the quiet flow of blackwater from the safety of our 1.75-mile, ADA-accessible boardwalk; or meander the Grassland-Woodland Trail system to see Longleaf Pine, grassland, and woodland habitats currently under restoration by Beidler Forest staff and volunteers. Visit to learn more or sign up for the Beidler newsletters for important updates on events and programming. You can also follow our dedicated Facebook and Instagram pages for great photos real-time updates from the swamp.

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