The one-year old Oconee Conservation Bank received its first donation today, a gift from the group Oconee Forever. Board chairman Shea Airey and his colleagues thanked Oconee Forever’s Alice Wald during a ceremony at this morning’s conservation bank board meeting. The check amounts to $1,200 and is to be deposited into the board’s first bank account. Airey and the board also discussed procedures for accepting applications for funds, as well as how the board can solicit other donations, such as the one from Oconee Forever. In tandem with Upstate Forever, Oconee Forever’s mission includes the protection of important conservation lands countywide. In 2011, County Council created the Oconee Conservation Board as an independent government body to leverage available funds for conservation land protection. The receipt of the $1,200 will help allow the Oconee board to provide grants and financial assistance to landowners to conserve working farms, scenic areas, important wildlife habitat and historic sites.