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Upstate Forever Receives $1 Million Gift

May 16, 2018 04:41PM ● Published by Kathleen Maris

Photo: Marjorie E. Schmidt attended nursing school and worked at St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford, Mass. before moving to Greenville in 1952.

Upstate Forever has received a $1 million gift in honor of Marjorie E. Schmidt, a longtime Greenville resident with a heart for nature and a giving spirit. The gift will be used to advance Upstate Forever’s mission to protect land, water, and the unique character of the Upstate in the face of skyrocketing growth and sprawling development. 

“Marjorie E. Schmidt was a true example of quiet, unwavering generosity, and Upstate Forever is honored to celebrate her life,” said Aldon Knight, director of development and community relations at Upstate Forever. “We are delighted by this gift, which will be used to honor Marjorie’s love of nature by protecting our region’s special places.” 

Schmidt, who passed away in 2004, was born in New Bedford, Mass. and worked as a nurse before moving to Greenville in 1952 with her family. Schmidt donated regularly to her church and many other charitable causes throughout her life. Even when she could only afford a small amount, she gave generously and privately, without expectation of recognition. Schmidt was drawn to nature and donated faithfully to many animal welfare and environmental organizations.

“Marjorie’s gift will enable Upstate Forever to focus on protecting the parts of our region that are most critical to the preservation of iconic green areas and critical habitat. It will also allow for increased access to recreation,” said Andrea Cooper, executive director of Upstate Forever. “We are extremely grateful for this generous gift and will do our best to honor Marjorie’s life by protecting the natural character of a region that she loved so very much.”

The donation is an important lead gift in Upstate Forever’s Crossroads Campaign, which will commence this year. The campaign, aided by the gift, will help preserve several unspoiled natural areas in Greenville County and protect other critical lands in the Upstate. The gift was made anonymously.

In addition to land protection efforts, a portion of the gift will be used to promote plans and practices that balance growth with green space and natural resource protection, helping to retain the high quality of life that makes the Upstate so special.
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