CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Hampstead Mall Park is the oldest publicly dedicated open space in the city of Charleston, according to city parks director Jason Kornsberg.
He said plans to improve the landscape and public accessibility of the park have been discussed for a few years now, but some were put on hold because of the pandemic.
“You don’t have to drive here,” Kronsberg said. “With all the multi-family and all the single family that’s in the neighborhood now, a great walkable park really encourages that outdoor activity.”
Kronsberg says Mayor John Tecklenburg along with council members, non-profit groups, and the Eastside neighborhood association want to make the space more publicly accessible.
Kronsberg says one proposed addition is a partnership between the Charleston County School District, the US Soccer Foundation, and the Ebony Soccer Club to bring a small soccer arena to the open field next to the old Fraser school.
“The US Soccer Foundations program is part of their Safe Places to Play initiative,” Kronsberg said. “So it gives them a curriculum if you will of recreation.”
He says the city recently applied for a $12,000 grant from AARP to fund new landscaping and WiFi at Hampstead Mall Park.
Leadership Charleston, which is a part of the Charleston Chamber of Commerce, is helping bring the free WiFi to Hampstead Mall Park.
Leadership Charleston member John LaCour says the group’s goal this year is to bring WiFi to different parks across the peninsula and the Tri-County area, and this will be their first location. He said having more people working and doing schoolwork at home during the pandemic only heightened this need.
“One of the things we’ve heard about is kids trying to do their homework online on their smart phone and the data plan running out. So we’re excited to be bring this to the community,” LaCour said.
He says the WiFi will be accessible within a block or two of Hampstead Mall Park and will be available 24/7. They hope to have it up within the next month.
If you have suggestions on other areas needing WiFi assistance from Leadership Charleston or if you’d like to donate to help fund this, click here.
The City of Charleston hopes to hold public listening sessions about the ideas for a soccer field at Hampstead Park as well. Kronsberg says more information on that will be released once plans are finalized.