KINGSTREE, SC (Nov. 9, 2021)—The Open Space Institute (OSI) and South Carolina State Parks today announced that more than 1,450 completed surveys were submitted as part of a community outreach effort associated with the creation of the Black River Water Trail & Park Network. Although complete analysis of the survey responses are ongoing, topline themes appear to be deep concern for the long-term protection of the Black River and a desire by residents for greater recreational access to the waterway.
The survey was crafted as part of an ongoing, comprehensive, community-based planning initiative that is forming the vision for the Black River Water Trail & Park Network, a 70-mile paddling route and riverfront network of public and private recreational properties (photos of the Black River are available here).
“More than we ever imagined, the public demonstrated that they are engaged in the Black River Water Trail and Park Network, and they believe in the area’s unparalleled natural inheritance,” said OSI Southeast Land Senior Director Dr. Maria Whitehead. “These invaluable insights will inform the next iteration of the master planning process, as OSI and our partners work to create an amenity that serves the public, tomorrow and into the future.”
“State parks become an important part of every community they are in, and we are pleased to have excited and involved locals participating in the planning process,” said State Parks Director Paul McCormack. “We’re thrilled with the response we’ve seen so far, and we’re grateful to our local, boots on the ground partners, who are doing a tremendous amount of outreach to connect with the community and engage them in this process.”
An introduction to and overview of the project can be found via the “Connecting to South Carolina’s Black River” Story Map, an online multimedia project also spearheaded by OSI.