By Stan Welch
A fifteen year attempt to define and implement the use of the thirty five acre Dolly Cooper Park on the banks of the Saluda River continues this summer. County staff and a planning consultant are holding a series of meetings to get public input on the form and function that the park should include.
Originally obtained during the Preston administration, the site has gone largely undeveloped, with the main exception being the construction of an ADA compliant kayak launching site (pictured).
That facility anchors one end of an extensive Saluda River blueway that has become a major attraction for the northern end of the county. (
There is land set aside for one ball field and soccer facilities are still a possibility. But Blake Sanders, president of the consulting and design firm Studio Main LLC, says that Powdersville has evolved over the last fifteen years, and that has affected the consensus on the uses of the park.
“Fifteen years ago, people were into more competitive team sports, like baseball and soccer. And those are still important, but we are seeing a lot of interest in uses such as hiking trails, water centered recreation, picnic facilities, playgrounds for younger children, and other more leisurely forms of recreation,” said Sanders.
The purpose of the meetings is to assist in the formation of a master plan. The drop in meeting at the Powdersville Library Monday afternoon was the second one of three that are planned. The last one will be held on August 15 from 11:00 a.m. till 2:00 p.m. the Powdersville Fire Department. An online survey will also soon be available on the county’s website.
Once the information gathering is finished, a draft of the Master plan will be produced and presented to a steering committee, comprised of citizens, county staff members, elected officials and others for review.
“We hope to have that for the committee and get approval by the end of the calendar year, so that funding can be addressed for the coming budget year,” said Sanders