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April Upstate Meeting: Saving the Bunched Arrowhead, Our Rarest Plant
April 19, 2022 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
The Bunched Arrowhead (Sagittaria fasciculata) is one of the nation’s rarest plants. It is an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act, and it exists only in two counties on earth – mostly in Greenville County and some in Henderson County, NC. In Greenville County, it lives only in Piedmont Seepage Forests, a rare wetland type, in a band from Berea through Travelers Rest and Taylors to the outskirts of Greer. It is found in the headwaters of the Reedy, Enoree, and Tyger Rivers.
Because of its limited range and because it is dependent upon these special groundwater-fed wetlands, the Bunched Arrowhead’s continued existence is precarious. Its habitat has historically been eliminated by farming, livestock, and textile pollution. Now, it faces the additional threat of development sprawl into northern Greenville County.
Over the last decade, the Native Plant Society has worked with local communities, the SC Department of Natural Resources, Upstate Forever, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and Naturaland Trust to preserve Bunched Arrowhead habitat and to fight off development that would destroy these plants and their wetlands. In northern Greenville County, the Bunched Arrowhead has become a symbol of the fight of local communities against development that would alter forever the rural landscape.
In this program, Frank Holleman will describe the plant, its habitat, and the fight to save it. Frank is President of Naturaland Trust, which has acquired a number of Bunched Arrowhead wetlands for conservation, and a Senior Attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center, which has represented the Society and others in battles to protect this plant and its habitat. Frank is also a member of the Society’s Upstate Board and a native plant volunteer.
Frank Holleman is President of Naturaland Trust, founded 45 years ago to protect South Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Frank is also a Senior Attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center, a regional legal and advocacy nonprofit; coordinates SELC’s coal ash work across the Southeast; and works on clean water issues. Prior to joining SELC, for about 25 years Frank practiced law at Wyche, Burgess, Freeman, and Parham in Greenville, S.C. Frank served as the United States Deputy Secretary of Education, as Chief of Staff to U.S. Education Secretary Richard Riley, and as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice.
Frank was a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun and Judge Harrison Winter of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Frank is a graduate of Furman University (magna cum laude), Harvard Law School (magna cum laude), and the London School of Economics and Political Science (M.Sc.). In 2010, he received the Environmental Awareness Award from the State of South Carolina and in 2018 the Carl F. Kohrt Distinguished Alumni Award from the Furman University Alumni Association. Frank and Anne live in Greenville and have three adult children and three grandchildren.