Renovations underway at Charleston Co. parks thanks to federal funding

More than half a million dollars of federal funding is going toward renovating public access at two parks in Charleston.
Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 3:29 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 31, 2023 at 11:09 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - More than half a million dollars of federal funding is going toward renovating public access at two parks in Charleston.

In the county, $427,827.50 in federal money is going towards an ADA accessible observation deck on the Isle of Palms, among other improvements. The aging boardwalk, outdoor showers, and railing on walkways will also be replaced during the project.

For families like the Adkins, this kind of accessibility is essential. Matt and Leslie have two sons, Jace and Braiden, who love the beach. Braiden is in a wheelchair.

“There’s not a lot of point in going out to the beach if we can’t get him out to it. So, every county park beach that we’ve been to, everything we deal with for county parks they always put accessibility at the forefront,” Matt says.

They say the park access to the beach is done so well that it makes it a joy for their family to take in the natural resources the area has to offer. The new observation deck will be closer to the beach.

“Even with this project, it was already accessible, but I love that it wasn’t good enough. They really want to make sure we have the same quality of access that every other person in the community does,” Leslie says.

In the city, $261,000 is going towards renovating docks, boardwalks, and playground equipment at Fort Pemberton. Improvements include improving the restroom, parking, paths and boardwalks, benches, bike racks, picnic tables, swings, drinking fountains and landscaping.

Land, Water & Wildlife Manager at the Coastal Conservation League Rachel Hawes says she lives the in the area of the Fort Pemberton Park, and the community is looking forward to the upgrades. She also says the Coastal Conservation League supports preserving and creating safe access to resources like the waterfront.

“We support and advocate for a nice balance between the two. But given the short supply of public access we are really excited to see these parks be funded – these points of accessibility to be funded, we think it will bring an equitable way for people to reach the water,” Hawes says.

Fort Pemberton Park is along the Stone River and provides a green space to nearby neighborhoods and visitors. Hawes says all parks should create the opportunity for people of all kinds to experience the beauty of Charleston’s nature.

“A lot of us get to work in those natural resources often, but a lot of us don’t. So, getting people out there to see them and have that appreciation for that habitat will hopefully create better stewards of that habitat in the future,” Hawes says.

The total cost for the Fort Pemberton Project is $522,000. The total cost for the Isle of Palms Park Project is $855,655. The money to complete the projects comes from the federal grants as well as local and some state investment.