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Pee Dee Land Trust protects Wilds Hall on Black Creek

January 7, 2019

FLORENCE, S.C. – On Dec. 14, Pee Dee Land Trust signed a conservation easement agreement with Dr. and Mrs. Thomas G. Wilson on their 86-acre property on Black Creek in Darlington County.

After acquiring the property, the Wilsons knew they wanted to do something to conserve its special features, including 2,200 feet of frontage on Black Creek, a navigable body of water that is enjoyed by kayakers, fishermen and other recreationists. The property contains soils that are important for agricultural and timber production and has a historic home built in the 1840s and listed on the National Historic Register. In addition, the conservation easement protects the scenic view along North Springville Road, which is a location of several historic homes.

“As lifetime residents of Darlington County, my wife, Perry, and I felt that we needed to do our part in preserving and protecting Black Creek and the historic Springville area,” Thomas Wilson said. “We are thankful that through our partnership with the Pee Dee Land Trust, Wilds Hall Plantation will flourish as a natural resource for generations to come.”

Wilds Hall is part of a larger network of protected forest lands that ensures habitat connectivity and water quality on Black Creek. Forested wetlands contribute several important wetland functions, including water retention, sediment filtration and nutrient cycling, which in turn impact overall water quality further downstream. Overall, the protection of Wilds Hall will further conservation and protect migratory corridors for wildlife in support of regional and national bird conservation efforts.

“PDLT consolidated with the Black Creek Land Trust in 2014 and, with the addition of Wilds Hall, currently holds conservation easements on nine properties totaling 3,263 acres and owns two nature preserves along Black Creek” stated Seth Cook, PDLT director of land conservation. “It was a pleasure to work on an exceptional project and continue the conservation work on Black Creek, which is such a special place.

“We proudly partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife to assist with our baseline reports. They documented numerous species of trees and shrubs providing habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, including mammals, migratory songbirds, birds of prey, wading birds, amphibians and reptiles.”

Wilds Hall is in the range of and contains potential habitat for one federal at-risk species, the spotted turtle, which utilizes freshwater wetlands, Cook said.

“Wilds Hall is a prime example of a conservation easement project PDLT is proud to add to the network of conserved land in the Pee Dee Watershed,” PDLT Executive Director Lyles Cooper Lyles said. “The Wilson’s passion to preserve the legacy of their land is inspiring and will benefit the Black Creek community in perpetuity.”

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