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Almost 160 acres is changing hands in Lancaster County. The new owner? You.

Land in Lancaster County will be preserved through a new grant aimed at improving water quality in the Lynches River watershed.
Land in Lancaster County will be preserved through a new grant aimed at improving water quality in the Lynches River watershed.

The newest property owners on an almost 160-acre site in Lancaster County will be, well, just about everybody.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources received a $270,000 grant toward the purchase of land for the Flat Creek Conservation Area. It adjoins the Forty Acre Rock Heritage Preserve in Lancaster County.

The property will be open year-round and remain as wildlife habitat, forest and recreation site.

OceanaGold is the grant donor. The inaugural Lynches River Conservation Grant is aimed at improving water quality and wildlife throughout the Lynches River watershed.

“OceanaGold is proud to be engaged with efforts to expand the Flat Creek Conservation Area,” said David Thomas, vice president with the company. “The additional land purchased by SCDNR, and their stewardship, contribute greatly to this significant area of Lancaster County.”

The next grant cycle, through Central Carolina Community Foundation, is accepting applications for funding through Dec. 31.

The Forty Acre Rock site is almost 3,000 acres, open during daylight hours. Camping and motorized vehicles aren’t allowed. The site, off U.S. 601 and Nature Reserve Road, has nearly a dozen rare, threatened or endangered species along with waterfalls, caves, natural water slides and more.

The land preservation is a contrast to much of the growth in Lancaster County, spanning residential construction, manufacturing and even shopping.

Forty Acre Rock is one of 17 wildlife management areas DNR operates in Game Zone 2, which covers all or part of 18 counties, including York, Lancaster and Chester. Public lands vary in what types of uses are allowed from hiking to hunting, fishing and more.

John Marks: jmarks@fortmilltimes.com; @JohnFMTimes
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