Supporters want 70-mile park network along SC’s Black River
KINGSTREE, S.C. (WCSC/AP) - A coalition working to connect a dozen local, state and private parks along South Carolina’s Black River has released a plan for a 70-mile-long project.
Now all they need is $45 million to complete it.
The Open Space Institute says the Black River Water Trail and Park Network would start in Kingstree in Williamsburg County and wind along the dark, slow-moving river to where it meets the Pee Dee River just north of Georgetown.
A new state park, located at the 310-acre “Hinds Canada” property the institute previously donated to the state, would be the centerpiece of the riverfront network of public and private recreational properties, OSI’s website states. It would also include an 18-acre Black River Landing in Kingstree and the OSI-protected Rocky Point Community Forest in Georgetown, and various trail stops and access points in between.
“This project is a glowing example of how strategic land protection and a shared local vision can jumpstart a movement that will have countless benefits for this community and its residents,” OSI Senior Project Director Dr. Maria Whitehead said. “For generations to come, the property donated to the state by the Open Space Institute will welcome South Carolinians as they experience the beauty and wonder of the Black River.
They say it would promote tourism, history and business, and that keeping the area undeveloped could mitigate catastrophic flooding expected to become more frequent as the Earth warms.
“The Black River is located exclusively within the borders of our state, giving South Carolina communities and entities the unique opportunity to work together to protect it,” South Carolina State Parks Director Paul McCormack said. “Community partners and conservation nonprofits have really been the catalyst for this project, and State Parks is excited to play a supporting role in this historic endeavor. While we are still likely many years away from welcoming our first visitor, the vision for the future park will provide important access for education and recreation, allowing us all to work together to protect and preserve the natural and cultural significance of this special place.”
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