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