Anderson County has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the US Department of Interior Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). These funds will be used towards the development of a new recreation facility on the Saluda River in Piedmont.
“This new facility will serve as a key anchor on the Saluda River Blue Trail and bring countless benefits to Piedmont and surrounding area”, said Anderson County Councilmember Jimmy Davis. “I’d like to thank the National Park Service for this significant award and express my gratitude to our friends at SCPRT’s Office of Recreation, Grants and Policy for their invaluable assistance in support of this effort.”
The facility will be developed in the historic village of Piedmont on county-owned property located at 550 River Road at the confluence of the Saluda River and Big Brushy Creek, just north of Piedmont Dam. LWCF funds will assist in development of Phase I of the new park, which will include:
ADA-accessible kayak launch facility
5,000 linear feet of ADA-accessible paved sidewalk
Improved parking area and access
Initial development of nature paths, shoreline access trails, and habitat enhancements
“News of this serves as being among the proudest moments of my time in public service”, said SC House District 10 Representative West Cox. “This park will build upon the momentum for renewal that has been building in Piedmont for the last few years, and I am privileged to witness this happening.”
“I can’t begin to say enough good things about the people in Piedmont—their strength and resilience are now being rewarded”, said SC State Senator Mike Gambrell. “The park will bring long-term, sustainable benefits to the community, and I can’t wait to see it come together.”
Piedmont Riverfront Park will be the fifth access facility developed by Anderson County to support the Upper Saluda River Blue Trail. The Blue Trail provides over 70 miles of beginner-friendly and nearly 50 miles of more advanced paddling opportunities. Emanating from the time-scarred valley of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Pickens and Greenville Counties, the Saluda River borders six counties as it flows through Upstate South Carolina.
The efforts described will serve to do the following: 1) preserve and protect almost 30 acres of riverfront property; 2) offer improved recreational access to residents and visitors; 3) promote conservation efforts and ecological awareness; and 4) provide additional support to South Carolina’s natural resource-based economy, which has an annual statewide impact of more than $1.6 billion according to a report published by the SC Department of Natural Resources.
Anderson County estimates that the park will directly contribute more than $3 million to the regional economy each year, with indirect impacts exceeding $10 million annually.