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      Trust close to securing 17 more acres near Angel Oak

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The final tract of land surrounding the Angel Oak is on its way to being secured by the Lowcountry Open Land Trust, officials said Tuesday.{}

      According to the campaign, it will raise the $3.3 million needed to secure the 17-acre tract near the ancient oak tree. The land was intended to be used for a 260-unit housing facility and retail space.{}

      "This community told us resoundingly that they support the complete preservation of the Angel Oak," said Elizabeth Hagood, LOLT Executive Director. "We look forward to their energy and commitment in this final round as we raise $400,000 to secure a total of 34 fragile acres. This tree is a testament to our community's complex history, and will surely be a guidepost for generations to come."

      One of the promised donors is the City of Charleston, which has approved a $400,000 donation to buy the land. The trust has applied for a $2.5-million Greenbelt fund and is looking to the public to raise another $400,000.{}

      The Trust has until mid-March to secure all the funds.

      This is the second 17-acre tract to be purchased by the trust.{}

      In December, the trust purchased the first tract of land after a months long campaign to raise several million dollars.{}

      The land had been zoned for hundreds of apartments and commercial development, but the Land Trust was given until Sept. 30 to raised the money needed to complete the deal. The deadline was pushed back to Nov 21.

      Lowcountry Open Land Trust wants to keep the land as natural as possible but would like to have some nature trails as well as have it available as an educational tool for nearby schools.

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