Open Space Institute Secures “Small but Mighty” Waterfront Property for Future James Island Park

CHARLESTON, SC (December 21, 2023) The Open Space Institute (OSI) today announced the acquisition of the 24-acre “Bradham” property on James Island along the Stono River. The newly protected property, which could have been developed into dozens of residential units, will be a future Charleston County Park.

Featuring a freshwater pond, stunning saltwater marsh views, and easy public access to the Stono River, the park addition was purchased by OSI with funds from the Charleston County Greenbelt Program, the South Carolina Conservation Bank, and the North American Wetlands Conservation Council. OSI intends to convey the property to the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission (CCPRC).

“The Bradham property is small but mighty,” said Patrick Moore, OSI’s Senior Land Project Manager for the Southeast. “In just 24 acres, it contains a beautiful pond, trails, easy river access, and stunning marsh views. We are grateful to all of our partners, particularly the landowners, who generously sold the property well below market value.”

“Expanding public water access is a hallmark of the Charleston County Greenbelt Program,” stated Advisory Board Chairman Beezer Molten. “We are delighted to be part of the strategic partnership that will ensure unique Lowcountry recreation experiences for generations to come.”

Increased equitable access to water continues to be a top-ranked priority for Charleston County residents, as indicated by community survey results from CCPRC’s comprehensive plan, “Parks and Recreation For All 2033.”

“The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission is grateful to receive the Bradham property. We know natural areas with views and/or access to water are a priority for the people we serve. The Commission will gather public input in the future to learn what our community would like to see on the property,” said CCPRC Executive Director Kevin Bowie.

Currently, a sidewalk is being constructed on Riverland Drive from the existing James Island County Park to Bradham Road, linking the two park properties, which are minutes apart by bike or foot. The properties are connected by water, with the Bradham tract less than a mile’s paddle from the James Island County Park dock.

“When I was a child, Bradham Road was also known as ‘Back the Road.’ It was a magical place for children,” remembered Doris Grant, who grew up in the neighborhood. “It was a place where folks in the community went to access the Stono River for fishing, casting nets for shrimp, and bogging for oyster. It’s wonderful that OSI and Charleston County Parks are working together to give Bradham back to our community.”

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