Written by Wes Floyd
If you are ever enticed to step outside of the “Furman bubble,” I would encourage you to take interest in the City of Greenville. Besides offering a wonderful downtown full of shops and restaurants, Greenville operates numerous parks and greenspaces for your enjoyment. These parks are free and open to the public, with the exception of the Greenville Zoo. Falls Park and Cleveland Park are the city’s largest and most popular; located within close proximity to downtown. However, downtown may soon have another city park at its fingertips.
Recently, the City has announced plans for a new West Side park along the Reedy River and straddling the Swamp Rabbit Trail. The Hudson Street site is located adjacent to the newly constructed Kroc Center and AJ Wittenberg Elementary. Currently, it is home to the Department of Public Works facility. However, the site lies within the Reedy River floodplain, making the site vulnerable to flooding. Cognizant of the risk posed by future floods and of the increasing value of property along the river, the City pledged to relocate Public Works. In May of 2012, Greenville City Council approved $3.1 million to acquire land to build a new facility along Fairforest Way. City officials expect the new park to serve as an anchor for businesses and restaurants wishing to cater to park visitors. The park may also create more housing opportunities in the West End. In addition to economic development, the park is expected to have an enormous impact of the health and wellness of the community by providing access to outdoor recreation.
Although the park is still in initial planning stages, three designs for the park have been completed. A week-long design workshop for the park concluded on February 28 at a public meeting where consultants presented the three design concepts for public input. Possible amenities include a lake, dog park, community garden, and a climbing wall. Going forward, a project steering committee will work with the planning team to help integrate all the ideas and concepts developed through the design process and help the consultants incorporate costs, engineering, and environmental concerns into a final draft scheme for the park. This process will take approximately three months, after which the consultants will return and more public meetings will be scheduled. Furman students and Greenville residents, keep your eyes open for future developments. You may soon have a new park to enjoy!
See updates on the project here: