ANDERSON — Upstate Forever has secured a $60,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to assist the Rocky River Conservancy (RRC) in developing a master plan for the future Rocky River Park. The grant will also fund activities such as community meetings and educational program planning.
“This park, located less than two miles from downtown Anderson along Highway 29, has beautiful wetlands and wildlife and will be a great place to get outdoors,” said Dana Leavitt, Upstate Forever’s Land Trust Special Projects Director, who has been working closely with RRC since 2008 on making the project a reality.
Anderson University and a private landowner have committed significant parcels for the park, which may eventually encompass more than 400 acres. “Anderson University is eager to move forward with the Rocky River Conservancy and Upstate Forever as we develop this unique resource as an educational and recreational treasure for the people of the Upstate,” said Dean Woods, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Anderson University and a member of the RRC board. “The beautiful portion of the wetlands and riverbank we own has already been an exciting educational resource for our students and faculty, and we look forward to working with our partners to share this very unique natural wonder with the people of the region.
Juan Brown, Chairman of the Rocky River Conservancy, said, “The EPA funds will enable us to create detailed plans for the park, which will involve many technical issues due to the extensive wetlands on the site. Once that work is completed, we will be able to move forward on constructing boardwalks, trails, and education platforms so that folks can safely access and appreciate this amazing property.”
Upstate Forever has also secured a $30,000 grant that will be used primarily for constructing the boardwalk trails and education platforms. Organizers plan to have the park open to the public later this year.
Upstate Forever is a nonprofit, membership-based organization promoting sensible growth and the protection of special places in the Upstate region of South Carolina. Our three program areas are Land Trust, Sustainable Communities, and Clean Air and Water. Founded in 1998, Upstate Forever now has nearly 2,000 members, two offices, and a staff of 19. For more information, visit www.upstateforever.org.