Dozens of Crane Creek area residents celebrated the grand opening of a new park and nature center – a facility that was made possible through the joint efforts of Richland County and community leaders.
On Saturday, County Councilman Torrey Rush, District 7, stood alongside community representatives Pat Gold and Hainsley Lewis and cut the red ribbon at the entrance of the park on Crane Church Road, welcoming the public into the facility.
“To see what this park was before and what it is now – I’m just speechless,” Rush said. “I’m extremely excited about the level of commitment from everyone involved in this project.”
The new 2.6-acre Crane Creek Pedestrian Park and Nature Center is a product of the County’s master plan program. The Planning and Development Department spent $470,000 renovating the park after receiving input from the local community. The park features a quarter-mile-long walking trail made of recycled rubber, five covered picnic areas with grills, benches, trash receptacles and a covered nature center that can accommodate about 30 people. The park also has several lamp posts so residents can enjoy the walking trail in the evening.
“Your plan equated to this,” Rush told community members.
He thanked Richland County Council, the Planning and Development Department, the community at large and those responsible for the design and construction of the park – Anthony Lawrence of Brownstone Construction Group and Todd Corley of Corley Construction – for their hard work in making the park a reality since a ground-breaking ceremony was held in December.
“Look at what we have,” said community leader Pat Gold. “We can become more physically fit – this is exactly what we needed.”
Gold said she hopes to be able to come to the park at any time of day and find people using it.
Hainsley Lewis, who also spoke during the ribbon-cutting, thanked Rush, the County and the community.
“We need to not only use the park, we need to take care of it,” he said.
The property for the park was purchased for $30,000 from Zion Chapel Baptist Church on Walter Hills Road. The park is located next to the Crane Creek Gymnasium, a County facility that offers sports and fitness activities for residents. Nearby neighborhoods include Crane Crossing, Crane Forest, Haskell Heights, Bookert Heights, Lincolnshire, Rockgate and Pine Forest.
After Saturday’s ribbon-cutting, many residents took to the new walking trail, making several laps before enjoying refreshments on benches and in the nature center.
For more information about Crane Creek Pedestrian Park and Nature Center, 521 Crane Church Road, visit www.rcgov.us