Groundbreaking held for M. J. Dolly Cooper Park upgrades

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State and local officials joined Anderson County for a groundbreaking ceremony recently for a project that will bring more improvements to M. J. “Dolly” Cooper Park in Powdersville.

When finished, the latest improvements will include eighty-nine new paved parking with ADA accessible spaces and a new 24×24 ft. covered pavilion with picnic tables. The park currently has unpaved parking, several ballfields an ADA accessible kayak launch and access for a short tube run or float trip.

Anderson County Administrator Rusty Burns welcomed those attending.

House District 10 Rep. West Cox said, “It is good to see what this county has done and how it has come together. He thanked Anderson County, Senator Richard Cash, the Anderson County Legislative Delegation and everyone involved in the project. He also thanked Duke Energy for providing funds for the kayak portal. “This park will be a great place for citizens to sit down and see what they have. It will create a sense of place for Powdersville and it will be a gem of the Upstate.”

Landscape Architect Blake Sanders of Studio Main, LLC, who designed the project, said it will “improve the quality of life” in the area. He talked about the Saluda River Blue Trail which will cover 48 miles alone the river, from Powdersville, through Piedmont, Pelzer, and on to Ware Shoals.
Sanders said the next phase will include another kayak addition and work on the old Hwy. 81 bridge just down the river from Dolly Cooper Park. He said eventually the park will include pickleball courts, a dog park and miles of walking paths.

Anderson County Councilman Jimmy Davis (Dist. 6) said Anderson County is celebrating an new beginning at Dolly Cooper Park. He thanked the Spearman family and recognized Dan Cooper and family Missy and Daniel. Cooper represented House District 10 for a number of years and the park is named for his father M. J. Dolly Cooper, who was well known and very popular when he served as the House District 10 representative. Davis also recognized a former county councilmember for Dist. 6, Bill Dees, for seeing a vision and a need for a park in Powdersville.
“This is more than a half-million-dollar investment that will benefit people of all ages and from all walks of life in our community for decades to come. This project would not be possible without the support of my fellow County Council members, our legislative delegation partners Rep. Cox and Sen. Richard Cash and NewSpring Church.
Davis said Anderson County has the best staff in the state and fellow councilmembers worked to make the project a reality.

Senator Richard Cash said the park adds to the quality of life in the area. He said “People can really enjoy being outside of their home” when they come to the park to enjoy the ballfields, walking trails and other things the park has to offer.

M. J. Dolly Cooper park will be the site for a Rhythm on the River music event May 7 sponsored by the Powdersville Business Council and the upcoming Saluda River Rally in June. The park is located at 170 Spearman Circle, Greenville (Powdersville).

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Groundbreaking Friday for Dolly Cooper Park improvements