The Laurens County Trails Association (LCTA) is excited to announce that the National Parks Service (NPS) has awarded a grant to LCTA to provide assistance with the planning and development of a trail system in Laurens County. Through this grant, NPS personnel will provide guidance and expertise on a project to create a master greenway plan for Laurens County. In addition, the project will describe the most feasible route for extending the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail through the county. The process will build partnerships with interested parties and will involve multiple open public meetings to inventory and map community resources and to secure public input on goals and trail routes. The ultimate goal is to provide more recreation opportunities for all Laurens County residents, promote land conservation, and stimulate economic growth.
The National Parks Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program supports successful partnerships with communities across America in achieving their conservation and outdoor recreation visions. “The selection review committee received applications for assistance for several projects in South Carolina,” said Don Walker, LCTA’s Executive Director. “Their scoring process ranked us very high and they strongly support the value and objectives of our project. The lead NPS project manager for all projects in the Carolinas and Georgia will personally manage our project and he is excited about it.”
At a meeting earlier this year, the NPS project manager voiced his appreciation of the accomplishments that the LCTA has made and the support already gained from the Greenville Health System, the YMCA of Laurens, Step Up Laurens, Laurens County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism, Laurens County, and the Cities of Clinton and Laurens. These entities are represented on LCTA’s Board. This support, and the support letters written by 17 additional local organizations, was instrumental in being awarded the grant. LCTA appreciates all this support and realizes that the NPS grant would not have been possible without it.
One key component of the grant request is for NPS to help the LCTA get the community involved in planning and creating the trail system. “We plan on complete public involvement and transparency throughout the entire planning process,” said Walker. Board member Andy Howard added, “While we have a vision, the National Parks Service will surely see opportunities in developing additional objectives.”
Anyone who wants more information or is interested in getting involved in this project is urged to contact Don Walker at 864-871-1255 or firstname.lastname@example.org.