In 2007, Historic Charleston Foundation received a grant from the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation to expand the Ashley River Historic District, which was originally listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994. The expanded district was designated in 2010 and now encompasses more than 23,000 acres. 

Expanding the Ashley River Historic District was just one part of a decades-long, collaborative effort to preserve the area's significant natural, historical and cultural qualities.  This effort is ON-GOING as there remain serious threats to this area, but substantial progress has been made.

We believe that preservationists, conservationists, community leaders, and property owners from around the country can learn about implementing “whole place preservation” by using the historic Ashley River Corridor as a case study. Whole place preservation is built upon the principle that land conservationists, historic preservationists, and other activists are more effective when they work together to save and protect our special places.

 For over forty years, land owners, preservationists, conservationists, politicians and the larger community have used every tool and approach at their disposal to protect the Ashley River Corridor.  We have learned that whole place preservation requires constant vigilance and never-ending advocacy.  It takes an enormous investment of time and effort but the result—a protected area that is recognized as significant by a broad swath of the community—is worth it.