Charleston Co. approves six greenbelt funding projects, investing more than $7 million in green space
CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston County continues to invest in its greenbelt program working to protect natural spaces throughout the county. Last week, the county council approved more than $7 million in tax money for six recent and upcoming projects.
Eric Davis, Director of Greenbelt Programs for Charleston County, explains the county money is often matched by city or other funds to accomplish the land purchase.
“It really takes three partners, an applicant who’s identified the property, they want to protect the landowner, and then the county helps fund that protection,” Davis says.
Of the six projects approved, two of them are on Edisto Island, two are in North Charleston, one is on Folly Beach and one is in Hollywood. These projects range in size and cost, from a few thousand dollars for a few acres, to a few million for hundreds of acres.
“We had everything from small pocket parks on Folly Beach to large tracts down on Edisto Island. It’s definitely important not only to preserve future green space and areas that aren’t developed yet, but also provide those outdoor recreation and public green spaces in our more densely developed areas as well,” Davis says.
Jason Crowley with the Coastal Conservation League says one large tract in North Charleston is particularly exciting because it is more than 400 acres that will impact people all the way down the Cooper River. The Ingleside Tract will be public park land near Wannamaker Park with the potential to connect the two.
“It will be a complimentary expansion of that park area, which has a really important resilience component as well because there are headwaters to Goose Creek that flow through there. They start there and go under I-26 and over through the city of Goose Creek into the reservoir and then after that the county park the into the Cooper River,” Crowley says. “It’ll also reduce the potential impact of flooding in neighboring areas by not having the any sort of threats of development upstream that would then cause exacerbation downstream.”
The county funding for these projects comes from the one percent transportation and greenbelt sales tax that people in the county voted for in 2016. The six projects, their cost to the county and plans are outlined below.
Sumner Avenue in North Charleston cost to the county - $156,870
- The county is reimbursing the City of North Charleston for this .29 acre parcel incorporated into Ellis Park in the Charleston Farms neighborhood.
- Ellis Park currently features a playground, picnic tables and green space.
- The addition expands the park’s open green space.
Botany Bay Heritage Preserve Expansion on Edisto Island - $2,027,030
- The county is reimbursing the funding for 180 acres located on Botany Bay Rd on Edisto Island.
- The land is next to South Carolina Department of Natural Resources’ (SCDNR) Botany Bay Heritage Preserve and Wildlife Management Area.
- The property will be habitat space protected from development. It features ecologically important maritime forest and freshwater and saltwater wetland habitat.
- The parcel protects 53 acres of Lowcountry wetlands.
Church Flatts Batter in Hollywood - $275,000
- The county is funding 1.19 acres located at 5065 Bryan Road in Town of Hollywood.
- The project will expand the Revolutionary War Battle of Stono Ferry land.
- The green space is along the Stono River and includes a deep-water dock that will be repaired and used for fishing and crabbing.
Horres Park on Folly Beach - $385,000
- The City of Folly Beach is applying for $385,000 of urban Greenbelt funds for buying half an acre at 502 and 504 E. Huron Ave. in Folly Beach.
- The Town wants to use two empty lots for green space that will preserve stormwater and floodwater needs.
- City Council says in its application, they will consider unpaved trails, interpretive signage, and typical passive park creature comforts like pet waste stations and water bottle fillers on the land.
Ingleside Weber Park – North Charleston $4,007,500
- The City of North Charleston is asking to purchase 440 acres located near Ingleside Plantation Road in North Charleston.
- The park will serve have trails and greenways with walking and biking access to mixed-use developments in the area.
- 240 acres of wetlands will be protected.
- Three grants are pending, totaling $3 million to also fund the project on the city side.
Keefe – Kinlaw Scenic Buffer Edisto Island - $30,000
- Edisto will protect 1.2 acres of scenic buffer located at 2523 Highway 174, Edisto Island
- It is next to two other greenbelt projects.
- The property serves as natural infrastructure, floodplain and wildlife habitat.
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