Lloyd Research Project Overview
In February 2006, Clemson University created the Margaret Lloyd Endowment. This endowment is based on a donation from Margaret Lloyd to Clemson of 853 acres of land and $2 million to support economic and community development through environmental education and research programs. The endowment is also used to support the chair holder in urban ecology at Clemson and subsequent research projects.
The donated land was special to Margaret Lloyd and she named it Hardscramble. Hardscramble is found in a community thirty minutes east of Columbia, South Carolina in Kershaw County. The property is part of what is considered the COWASEE Basin. COWASSEE is an amalgamation shorthand to describe the area made up of the Congaree, Wateree, and Santee Rivers.
Ms. Lloyd wanted Hardscramble to remain in a natural state for the purposes of ecological connection, with the only human use of the land being for education and research programs. Of the 853 acres of Hardscramble, 753 acres are placed in a conservation easement held by the Congaree Land Trust that precludes commercial development, agriculture, or timber harvesting, among other activities. The remaining 100 acres may be proposed for limited “green architecture” development that demonstrates the best environmental development practices.
Margaret Lloyd SmartState Professorship
Dr. Robert Baldwin was appointed Margaret H. Lloyd-SmartState Chair in January of 2016. He is Professor of Conservation Biology/GIS in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation. Dr. Baldwin is tasked with managing Lloyd’s $2 million endowment as well as Hardscramble, the land so near Mrs. Lloyd’s heart. With a binder full of maps, deeds, and legal documents, Dr. Baldwin was pressed with trying to figure out what to do with the land. Now, inspired by the mission and vision of the project, Dr. Baldwin is aiming to promote environmental education and research opportunities through the economic and educational advancements presented by the Lloyd Project. As a land-grant university, Clemson has a long history of successfully managing land and working collaboratively within the respective communities. To do exactly this for Hardscramble, a strong interdisciplinary team has been pieced together to understand the land, making the connection with the needs of the surrounding community and ecosystem. The team includes the following:
- Dr. Don Hagan and undergraduate students Jay Deason and Alex Shrier, all of Clemson University, are researching the rare Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris) habitat on the site. Dr. Hagan is serving as the forest ecologist on the project, conducting research on the status of the forest to plan the implementation of future forest management practices.
- Alex is working under Hagan, gathering data on the flora present at Hardscramble in order to determine what is best for supporting the continued sustainability of the longleaf pine forest habitat there.
- Jay, is using GIS techniques as part of his forestry research to conduct spatial analysis on the site from a natural standpoint to better determine the layout of the property from a natural standpoint. The following video provides more of an idea on the concepts of spatial analysis and how it can be used to scope out the intricacies of habitats.
- Dr. Betty Baldwin of Clemson University and her graduate student, Taylor Parker, are researching Ms. Lloyd’s Land Ethic and how lessons from this case study can be applied to similar habitats and philanthropic gifts.
- As part of his research, Taylor is interviewing subjects closely impacted by Margaret Lloyd and her philanthropy, and, in turn, his role as a researcher, content creator and photographer is aiding the Lloyd Project’s communications efforts.
- Clemson University undergraduate student Cole Little is serving as a content creator and web manager for the Lloyd Project, conducting interviews, maintaining the website and taking part in the Lloyd Project’s communications efforts through written content.
- Dr. Robert Powell of Clemson University is researching the environmental education capacities of Hardscramble and the needs of the surrounding Camden community.
- Dr. Jamie Duberstein of Clemson University’s Baruch Institute is conducting research on the wetland portion of the site, such as inventorying the species present there and measuring habitat variables to determine the health of the site and any future plans of action needed for conservation purposes.
- Coy Myers of Forest Land Management, Inc., is serving as the acting forester for the Lloyd Property of Hardscramble, serving to monitor the property and perform necessary forest management practices to maintain and promote the long-term sustainability of the site.
- Other work includes accurate documentation of the property and collaborating with the various stakeholders to best honor Ms. Lloyd’s legacy
Since January of 2016 this academic team and others involved have been working to understand South Carolina ecology better and the role that one empowered, passionate woman can have locally and globally through Hardscramble. As a launching pad, Hardscramble has been the vector to share Ms. Lloyd’s self-empowered vision of making connections with the natural world by “living in your knowing.”