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

SPECIES FOUND AT BALD ROCK
  • 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.

Directors

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, kayaker 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, kayaker 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/Treasurer

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

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. However, Bald Rock Heritage Preserve continues to suffer from widespread daily abuse. This includes layers of graffiti, trash, old wrecked cars, fires, fireworks, evidence of drug and alcohol use, broken glass, beer cans and bottles in streams, and other illegal activity, including regular use of the Preserve between sunset and sunrise when it is posted as closed.

The COVID-19 pandemic greatly increased interest in and need for outdoor recreation, which led to significantly increased visitation, and resulted in more abuse to the property.

Friends of Bald Rock is a volunteer service organization founded in 2021 that is working to restore and enhance the safe public use and enjoyment of the space while preserving and protecting its natural resources.

History

  • 2001

     

    The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) purchased the property and dedicated it as a Heritage Preserve in 2001.

  • August 2021

     

    Friends of Bald Rock Heritage Preserve was formed in August 2021 to work in coordination and cooperation with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to enhance the public use and enjoyment of the Preserve, while protecting its natural resources.

  • September 2021

     

    Registered as a SC Public Charity and filed an application for 501c3 status.  Recruited volunteers to pick up litter and pressure wash graffiti off the rock on our first clean up days scheduled in October.

  • October 2021

     

    Over three days, 33 volunteers, ages 18-88, worked 74 man hours picking up 500 pounds of trash and pressure washing graffiti off a large section of the rock. SCDNR, River Falls Fire Department, and Greenville County Litter Ends Here provided staff and equipment.

  • November 2021

     

    In a one-day clean up event, 43 volunteers, plus River Falls Fire Department volunteers, Greenville Litter Ends Here Coordinator, and SCDNR staff contributed 119 man hours pressure washing to remove graffiti and collecting 920 pounds of trash.

  • December 2021

     

    During a one-day pressure washing event, 8 volunteers and 4 SCDNR staff worked 35 man hours with a Pumpkintown Fire Department providing water.

  • Future

     

    We will continue to hold clean up days with SCDNR staff as they develop a master plan to address the ongoing vandalism at the Preserve.  Future events will also include membership drives, fundraising events, education, board and committee development.  Let us know how you would like to get involved.

Proposed Action

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.