About Friends of Bald Rock

Restore. Preserve. Cherish.

We work to RESTORE the natural habitat of rare and threatened plants and wildlife, PRESERVE the landscape and views, and CHERISH the legacy of our public lands.

Our Mission

Friends of Bald Rock Heritage Preserve is a volunteer service organization working to enhance the safe public use and enjoyment of Bald Rock Heritage Preserve while protecting its natural resources.

Our Vision

Friends of Bald Rock Heritage Preserve will create a sustainable volunteer service organization to support SCDNR in its work to preserve and protect Bald Rock Heritage Preserve.

Bald Rock Heritage Preserve is home to 165-acres of forest with granite outcroppings overlooking the foothills of Pickens and Greenville counties in South Carolina.

Rare & Threatened

  • Piedmont Ragwort
  • Grass of Parnassus
  • New England Cottontail Rabbit
  • Eastern Woodrat
  • Northern Long-eared Bat

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources has managed Bald Rock Heritage Preserve since 2001 to protect the rock, forest, rare animals and two headwater streams that are essential in maintaining several groups of rare plant species.


Susan Jordan, President

Born in NYC, raised in CT, Southern by marriage

Graduate of Columbia University

Veteran, US Army, Medical Service Corps

Mental health professional, retired

Inspired by the beauty of upstate SC

Gardener, yogini, hiker, biker, and traveler

Passionate about facilitating creative solutions around stewardship of public lands

Fascinated by the power of nature to impact mental health

John Jordan, Vice President

Born in Savannah, GA, raised in Jackson, MS

Graduate of University of Southern Mississippi

Veteran, US Army, Medical Service Corps

Mental health professional, retired

Passionate gardener, hiker, biker, and traveler

Self-taught artist and woodworker

Fascinated by the natural world and people’s interactions with it

Inspired by my children’s and grandchildren’s love of nature

Lisa Hunter, Secretary

Born and raised in Gainesville, GA

Graduate of Davidson College, Davidson, NC

Retired middle school teacher with other years as a travel agent and radio news broadcaster

Fascinated by the environment of upstate SC – its diversity and its beauty as well as its history and people

Passionate about preserving the upstate’s uniqueness for my children and my grandchildren to enjoy

Excited by hiking, reading, and life-long learning in all areas of life

Inspired by the positive effect that being out in nature has on all ages

Sara Lamacraft, Treasurer

Born in Marietta, GA but moved around a good bit growing up – Love living in Upstate SC

Graduate of Wofford College (accounting) and USC Upstate (computer science)

Currently work for Blackbaud, Inc. where I help various types of organizations set up their accounting software

Passionate about my work. I truly enjoy helping my clients find accurate and more efficient ways to present their financial data to various readers

Fascinated by music and its ability to alter one’s mood

Excited by the uniqueness of life and appreciate all it has to offer; always in awe of its beauty

Inspired by my husband who has so much drive and energy for good that I must keep up or get lost in the dust

About Bald Rock

Bald Rock Heritage Preserve is home to 165-acres of forest and granite outcroppings overlooking the foothills of Pickens and Greenville counties. The preserve is one of the best viewing sites of Table Rock, a massive rock formation and nearby state park that serves as a major South Carolina attraction.

Bald Rock Heritage Preserve is part of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, which includes Wildcat Falls, Caesars Head State Park, and Jones Gap State Park. The Wilderness Area covers more than 10,000 pristine acres featuring waterfalls, lakes, hiking trails and nature viewing.

The preserve is home to two headwater streams that are essential in maintaining several groups of rare plant species. These include the nationally threatened piedmont ragwort, and the state threatened, grass of parnassus. Rare animal species that have also been documented nearby include the New England cottontail (rabbit), Eastern woodrat and the northern long-eared bat.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) has managed the property since 2001. Unfortunately, Bald Rock Heritage Preserve continues to experience overuse with an average of 3000 visitors a week, facilitated by easy access from Geer Highway for almost 100 years. The result has been long term abuse including graffiti, trash, campfires, fireworks, evidence of drug and alcohol use, broken glass, and other illegal activity. Visitors continue to access the property between sunset and sunrise although it is posted as closed.

The SCDNR’s Heritage Trust Program was created in 1976, the first such program in the nation, to help stem the tide of habitat loss by protecting critical natural habitats and significant cultural sites. Enabling legislation directed the SCDNR, in coordination with other state agencies, to set aside a portion of the state’s rich natural and cultural heritage in a system of heritage preserves to be protected for the benefit of present and future generations.

These natural areas and cultural sites provide resources for scientific research; serve as reservoirs of natural and historical elements and habitats for rare and vanishing species. Visitors may observe natural biotic and environmental systems as areas for both study and enjoyment and as examples of the lands, structures and related artifacts which represent significant aspects of South Carolina’s historical and cultural heritage.

Friends of Bald Rock is a 501(c)(3) non-profit volunteer service organization founded in September 2021 to assist SCDNR to restore and enhance the safe public use and enjoyment of the land while preserving and protecting its natural resources.  So far, our volunteers have collected more than 3.5 tons of litter, pressure washed graffiti off the rock, and are now restoring patina and native plant habitats to protect the rock as part of a sustainable master plan. Join us in shifting the culture from vandalism to conservation.


  • September 2021


    Friends of Bald Rock Heritage Preserve designated a SC Registered Charity.

  • Fall 2021


    Recruited volunteers and River Falls Fire Department to pressure wash graffiti off the rock.

    In 3 months, 98 volunteers contributed 250 hours and collected 1500 lbs. of litter at 5 cleanup events.

  • December 2021


    Initiated collaboration with SC Department of Natural Resources and Clemson University Department of Landscape Architecture to develop a master plan of sustainable solutions to protect the Preserve.

  • Spring 2022


    Launched the website at our first Annual Meeting on April 26.

    Received 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.

    Upstate SC Native Plant Society completed the first botanical survey of the Preserve.

  • 2022


    This year, 136 volunteers contributed 405 hours collecting 2375 lbs. of litter and pressure washing paint off the rock at 11 events.

    Received grant from SC Humanities to fund research of the History of Bald Rock by the Furman University History Department.

  • Spring 2023


    Clemson University Landscape Architecture Department study completed.

    Volunteers suspend pressure washing to work on more sustainable graffiti mitigation strategies, restoring plant habitats to protect the rock.

  • 2023


    This year, 157 volunteers contributed 519 hours at 14 events and picked up 2580 lbs. of litter.

    Since 2021, volunteers have collected 3.5 tons of litter at 30 events. Fifteen additional volunteers have participated in 12 community outreach events to inform the public about the restoration at Bald Rock.

Strategic Goals

We intend to build a vibrant nonprofit organization that will assemble a coalition of stakeholders to:

  • Assist SCDNR in ongoing oversight and cleaning required to make the Preserve a safe, clean, and naturally beautiful place.
  • Assist SCDNR in educating the public about the importance and uniqueness of Bald Rock Heritage Preserve to help deter visitors from acts of vandalism.
  • Cooperate with SCDNR to develop and implement a master plan to redesign the hardscape, appearance, and access that will resolve the many vulnerabilities of the Preserve.
  • Provide a source of volunteers to help shift the culture from the decades long “tradition” of graffiti and vandalism to one of pride in the natural beauty of the SC Upstate, preserved for future generations.
  • Aid SCDNR with resources to restore plant and animal habitats.