The historic Angel Oak tree on Johns Island likely will be protected from nearby development after Charleston County Council Tuesday gave final approval to contribute $2.5 million for the effort.

To donate

To donate to help the Lowcountry Open Land Trust raise the $400,000 it needs to expand Angel Oak Park, visit or call 843-577-6510.

The group unanimously approved contributing the money from rural Greenbelt Program funds toward the purchase of 18.7 acres adjacent to Angel Oak Park.

The city of Charleston has contributed $400,000 toward the purchase. The Lowcountry Open Land Trust has until March 14 to raise the remaining $400,000. If that doesn't happen, a developer has said it will proceed with a plan to build an apartment community.

The trust will own the property, and Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission will manage it, officials said.

Conservationists want the land around the historic tree protected from intense development to maintain the health of the massive live oak, which is believed to be at least several centuries old. It is considered a Lowcountry icon.

Money for the Greenbelt Program comes from the half-cent sales tax. The program is for the preservation of green space through the purchase of land and conservation easements.

County Council in July approved $2.4 million in Greenbelt money to purchase another 17-acre parcel adjacent to the park.