CHARLESTON, S.C. (June 16, 2022) – The Open Space Institute (OSI), the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT), and community partners today announced the release of the community-driven Black River Water Trail & Park Network Master Plan, furthering a multi-year collaborative effort aimed at reconnecting residents of Williamsburg and Georgetown Counties to the State Scenic Black River, providing critical flood mitigation for riverside communities, and boosting local tourism.
The master plan is designed around the new Black River Initiative, a 70-mile-long riverine network of 12 local, state, and private parks connected by a recreational water trail along the river between the towns of Kingstree and Georgetown. The new park network includes South Carolina’s first new state park in nearly 20 years, the state’s first-ever riverine park, and the first state park in this majority Black region of the state.
Release of the master plan coincides with the announcement that OSI is donating two additional riverfront properties, totaling more than 2,000 acres, to SCPRT to improve public access to the river. The donations build on OSI’s previous acquisition and donation of the network’s first parcel to SCPRT in April 2021, which set the stage for a year-long community outreach and planning process that culminated in the release of this master plan.