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Foundations lending hand to Chocolate Drop restoration

Most of us are aware of the man-made environmental disaster sitting in the middle of our county; it’s called Chocolate Drop, and it’s visible from most areas of the county, especially when traveling on I-74 or I-26.

The mountain was unofficially named Chocolate Drop because it looked like a Hershey’s Kiss. Now it looks like a Hershey’s Kiss that was left too close to the woodstove, because one side has melted off.

In reality, mistakes made by a developer 10 years ago caused the side of the mountain to slide off, leaving the pond below filled with sediment, not chocolate.

Thankfully for Polk County, the Bradley Foundation and the Polk County Community Foundation cared enough about this disaster that they gave financial support to the Saluda Community Land Trust to acquire the top of Chocolate Drop Mountain, and thus start a process of healing and stabilization for the eroded bare side of Chocolate Drop. The healing process is just beginning, starting with site drawings, engineering plans, proposals for walking trails, adjoining lot owner and neighbor input, grant applications, etc.

But the point here is that we are now working towards a positive outcome after a very negative beginning.

And who do we have to thank for that? You guessed right: the Bradley Foundation and the Polk County Community Foundation.

Saluda Community Land Trust may have done a lot of the work, but none of it would have been possible without the support of the Bradleys and PCCF. For that, we give thanks!

Betsy Burdett

Saluda Community Land Trust