Getting The Family House in Order
Posted On April 9, 2018
Altogether, Gloria’s family land is about 50 acres in Georgetown County. Lots of family members are living on the parcels. Gloria owns nine acres “free and clear” with another five as an heir.
After attending one of the Center’s heirs’ property and Sustainable Forestry Program (SF) education seminars in Plantersville, she decided to manage her timber and create a butterfly garden for the neighborhood children. But where she is today began with a painful homecoming in 2011.
“When I drove up to my parents’ house, my heart broke,” Gloria said. “We had not been good stewards of what they had given us.” This was the house on which her father had lovingly built a front porch and extra rooms when she was a child.
Her parents have both passed, but they worked hard to see that all eight of their children received the high school education they never had. Gloria was the first in the family to go to college, graduating from Howard University and then becoming the first woman to earn an MS in Agricultural Economics from Clemson. Her graduate thesis was on the subject of heirs’ property.
Today, she sits proudly on the porch her father built. She has fixed it up and the paint is new. “I can’t wait to bring the grands here – to ye-ye’s house.” She intends to tell them stories of how her own grandfather used to call her out to the makeshift stall at the end of the driveway where he was selling his watermelons and squash. “Nanny…count me out the profit!”
Gloria has big plans for her grandfather’s land, which “now has a Farm and Tract number”, she says with a big smile. She is working with the Center to resolve HP issues, to develop and implement forest management plans, and has already qualified for the USDA/NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to receive financial assistance to help pay for the conservation planning and controlled burning on her land.
She wants her land to be a showcase in the community, so others will want to do more with theirs.