“Saved” Stumphouse celebrated

Greenville resident and former Oconeean Ann Holleman said, “It’s so rare the right thing happens.” And when she said it she was referring to a snowball of a public-private effort that, during a seven-month period, raised more than $4 million to save precious Oconee County land from development. Under the shelter of Walhalla-owned Stumphouse Tunnel Park, a variety of public and private individuals held theirbi-ennial picnic to remember an unsettling time six years ago when it appeared that a developer from Florida was set to scoop up hundreds of acres and build a gated community in the midst of some of the county’s most precious and historic acreage north of Walhalla city limits. The Concerned Citizens for Conservation bandied to make good on their cry to “Save Stumphouse.” They did it in 2007 in a complex, expensive land-buying and swap package that resulted in Walhalla acquiring the park property and other acreage being placed under conservation easements. Ann Holleman’s husband, Attorney Frank Holleman, was a number of picnic speakers that took several minutes to thank the many people who made it possible. To grasp exactly what’s been saved from a potential gated home development, you only have to listen to Dana Leavitt. An employee of an Upstate conservation organization at the time, Leavitt has since walked the entire acreage. So many colonies of wildflowers he had to wade thru to just to pick out the property lines