South Carolina Conservation Bank

The South Carolina Conservation Bank was created by the legislature in 2002 to fund land conservation activities to help protect land from development and preserve habitat and open space.  The bank awards funds to state and municipal entities and private qualified land trusts. These are:

  1. The SC Department of Natural Resources; The SC Forestry Commission; and The SC Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism.
  2. A municipality of SC and any agency, commission, or Instrumentality of such a municipality
  3. A not-for-profit charitable corporation or trust authorized to do business in SC whose principal activity is the acquisition and management of interests in land for conservation or historic preservation purposes and which has tax-exempt status as a public charity under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.


Application deadlines occur twice a year. The deadline dates are: March 31; and July 31. Applications should be postmarked no later than these dates.

The grant application for the South Carolina Conservation Bank contains four basic areas. It should be noted that the grant application is a competitive process wherein determination by the Board of priority funding status is made by comparison of the significant criteria associated with each proposal. These criteria serve to provide information to the Bank about the proposal in the most objective manner. The basic areas are:

  1. Information about the qualified entity and the landowner. Each question in this area addresses a statutory requirement.

  2. Natural Resource Criteria: This area reviews 12 criteria that make this proposal unique and significant. In other words why does the conservation and protection of this landscape improve the quality of life in South Carolina? The score in this area represents 55% of the total proposal score.

  3. Financial Criteria: This section contains five criteria that relate to how much, if any, leverage or matching funds are involved with the proposal. It should be noted that the Act does not require that there be any leverage but it is important in determining a proposal’s score in the competitive process. This area counts for 28% of the proposal score.

  4. Public Access: The Conservation Bank Board realizes that for some easements on significant lands wide public use cannot be attained. For that reason public access has been defined in three different categories so that some score will be gained and encouraged by allowing a degree of limited public access. It should be noted that public access is not a requirement of the Act but is nonetheless important in determining a proposal’s score. This area counts for 17% of the proposal score.

Phase 1

In an effort to reduce costs and time in filling out the application for funding, the Bank has worked to make the initial phase of the application as simple as possible. If properly filled out, the application form should give the Bank enough information to decide whether to proceed further with your proposal.

Please note:
The South Carolina Conservation Bank Act requires that any conservation easement funded by the Bank must be held by an eligible trust fund recipient.

Phase 2

There are number of required items that must be provided before closing or before any funds are disbursed. These items are as follows:

  1. The loan recipient for loans made to an eligible trust fund recipient must obtain an acceptable Title Insurance Policy with the SCC BANK as a named insured or a written statement of intent to insure from a qualified insurance company. The eligible trust fund recipient must indemnify the SCC Bank as to title in the amount of any grants made to the eligible trust fund recipient by a title insurance policy obtained by the grant recipient. If any funds are paid as a result of a faulty title or abrogation of the easement, said funds revert to the SCC Bank in the appropriate amounts. This indemnification must be made prior to any distribution of funds.
  2. A general management plan and how the land will be used.
  3. An environmental hazard assessment. No distribution of funds will be made until the land meets all state and federal environmental laws and regulations.
  4. A qualified and competent appraisal establishing a fair market value and/or the value of the proposed easement.
    1. No funding will be made without such appraisal
    2. The contents of the appraisal are confidential prior to a grant or loan or subsequent acquisition of interests in land being obtained with such grant or loan.

Should the information provided by the above items be in substantial conflict with the information provided in Phase 1 the SCC Bank has the right to cancel the grant request and re-prioritize other proposals.


Contact South Carolina Conservation Bank

Contact South Carolina Conservation Bank

Marvin N. Davant
Executive Director
1000 Assembly Street
P.O. Box 167, Rembert Dennis Bldg., Room #316
Columbia, South Carolina  29202
Phone: 803-734-0360
Fax: 803-734-6326


Service Area

Statewide Program in:
  • South Carolina