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Spartanburg Area Conservancy Council seeks to purchase & protect the ‘Central Park of Spartanburg’

Information provided by SPACE

Spartanburg Area Con-servancy (SPACE), in partnership with Spartanburg County and the State of South Carolina, seeks to purchase and permanently protect 945 acres of undeveloped land adjacent to SPACE’s Glendale Shoals Preserve for $25 Million. 

The acquisition would be one of the largest conservation wins in the SC Upstate, and would add to the existing complex of conserved land in Glendale, SC which currently consists of nearly 150 protected acres owned by SPACE, The Tyger River Foundation, and Wofford College. 

If successful, the 945-acre property east of the Glendale Mill Property would be owned by the State of South Carolina, leased and managed by Spartanburg County Parks and Recreation as a public greenspace park, and permanently protected from development with a SPACE conservation easement. 

SPACE has requested funding assistance from the South Carolina Office of Resilience, the SC Conservation Bank, Spar-tanburg County, and other local private organizations and citizens to help raise funds to protect the property. “We have an incredible opportunity to conserve a critical piece of land in Spartanburg.” says Sam Parrott, Executive Director of SPACE, “It’s going to take a community-wide commitment to conservation to achieve this goal.”  

Raleigh West, Executive Director of the SC Con-servation Bank that voted in March to fund $3 million towards the acquisition of the 945 acres, adds “Opportunities to acquire urban green spaces of this size are increasingly uncommon. This property’s connectivity with other protected properties makes it even more valuable for conservation and outdoor recreation. We remain cautiously optimistic that all the pieces will line up for this project to close.” 

“With the rate of development in Spartanburg, this is our last chance to protect and create a publicly accessible greenspace of this size so close to town.” explains Mr. Parrott. “We’re extremely fortunate to have this opportunity and are so thankful for all of our funding partners and supporters at the state and local level.”

Located less than 5 miles from downtown Spartan-burg, the new park would be the largest publicly accessible greenspace in Spartanburg outside of Croft State Park; some are even calling it the “Central Park of Spartanburg.” David Britt, Spartanburg County Councilman, states “this has the potential to be a great asset to the Spartanburg community.”    

“Details of the new park are still being worked out,” says Manning Lynch, Spartanburg County Council Chairman, “but it would remain mostly natural with trails for people to hike, bike or picnic in the park.”

“Protecting this land is important because of the undeveloped nature of the tract and the fact that this land can absorb rainfall particularly well, helping mitigate the impacts of future flooding and drought,” said Carissa Cochrane, a spokesperson for the Office of Resilience. The state agency, created in 2021 to help mitigate future risk of flooding in SC, has been asked to fund the bulk of the purchase price. “We're excited to coordinate and collaborate with the SC Conservation Bank, SCPRT, and Spartanburg area stakeholders on this wonderful project,” Cochrane said.

“It’s not often we get the chance to work on a true legacy project,” says Laura Stille, SPACE Board Chair, “but this is one that I hope will be enjoyed by my grandchildren and even their grandchildren. I’m proud to play a part in it.”    

With closing tentatively scheduled for June 2024, there are still several votes to approve funding requests that need to take place, including the SC Office of Resilience and Spartanburg County Council. “We still need a lot of things to go right in order to purchase this stunning property.” says Parrott. “To date, this project has received wonderful support locally and state-wide. Our community’s quality of life is tied directly to the presence of, and access to, greenspaces. We’re all hopeful that we’ll be able to celebrate this as a win for local conservation and the citizens of Spartanburg County and the State of South Carolina.”





ReGenesis Health Care brings primary care to town of Duncan

Duncan - ReGenesis Health Care recently announced its expansion into the vibrant community of Duncan, SC, bringing accessible and comprehensive primary care services to residents in the area. This strategic move underscores ReGenesis Health Care’s commitment to improving healthcare access and quality for individuals and families across Spartanburg County. 

Now offering primary care alongside their pharmacy in Duncan, residents will gain convenient access to not only brand name medications but also to a wide range of primary care services, including preventative care, chronic disease management, vaccinations, screenings, and more.

ReGenesis also offers patients a variety of other services including free transportation, affordable pharmacy services with free delivery, behavioral health services, community navigation, translation services and more. To see their full list of services, visit www.myrhc.org.

Primary Care appointments are available every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. To schedule a new patient appointment, please call (864) 582 - 2411 .





Southwest Airlines adds new daily nonstop service to Nashville 

Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) recently announced that Southwest Airlines will expand service at GSP with the addition of a new daily nonstop route to Nashville International Airport (BNA) and increased frequency to Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI).

This marks the first time Southwest has flown to Nashville since 2014, enhancing connectivity and convenience for Upstate South Carolina travelers. This announcement comes on the heels of the airline’s recent decision to begin weekend-only service from GSP to Denver, CO  starting on June 8, 2024.

The new route to Nashville opens greater opportunities for travelers seeking to explore the “Music City” and its thriving culinary offerings and bustling cultural attractions. With this addition, Southwest answers the growing demand for travel to and from Nashville while also offering passengers seamless connections to destinations across the United States including easy access to popular cities in the west such as Burbank, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Sacramento, and San Jose.

“We are thrilled to welcome back service to Nashville, one of our most requested routes, and to offer Upstate SC passengers even more options for their travel needs,” said Dave Edwards, President/CEO of the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport. “The addition of this new route will not only provide greater connectivity to the west but will also contribute to the economic growth and tourism in our region.”

With this new route to Nashville, Southwest Airlines will offer nonstop service to five destinations including flights to Atlanta, Baltimore, Denver, and Houston-Hobby. This breadth of service further strengthens the airline's presence in key markets and offers travelers more choices when planning their vacations and business trips.

This announcement marks the ninth new route for GSP set to start in 2024. With each new route, GSP continues to expand its reach, offering passengers an ever-growing array of destinations to choose from.

Southwest’s flights to Nashville start June 4, 2024. For more information about flight schedules, fares, and booking details, please visit www.southwest.com






Drone view of the USS Yorktown in Charleston Harbor. Drone photo credit to Jaxon Matthew Willis. 


USS Yorktown cleanup full steam ahead

Columbia - Governor Henry McMaster was recently joined by federal, state, and local leaders to announce the completion of Phase 1 of the USS Yorktown Environmental Remediation project and the anticipated start of Phase 2. The cleanup follows Governor McMaster's 2022 Executive Order, which directed the South Carolina Office of Resilience to begin the process of removing over a million gallons of toxic pollutants from the USS Yorktown that are at risk of leaking into Charleston Harbor. 

"There are few challenges that our state faces that are as urgent as the removal of toxic waste from the USS Yorktown – and we do not have another minute to waste," said Governor Henry McMaster. "At any moment, we are just one severe storm away from an environmental disaster that would not only destroy Charleston Harbor's delicate ecosystem but also greatly impair commercial shipping and tourism. That is why we must finish this project and finish it on time to continue to protect the Lowcountry." 

In 1975, the U.S. Navy donated the World War II Essex-class aircraft carrier USS Yorktown to the state of South Carolina to become a museum ship at Patriots Point in Charleston Harbor. A 2013 study by the Patriots Point Authority revealed that the USS Yorktown still contained approximately 160,000 gallons of petroleum and 1.6 million gallons of impacted polluted waters and polychlorinated biphenyl compounds that were not removed from the ship’s 428 vessel tanks/ compartments by the U.S. Navy.

If these hazardous materials were to leak out of the USS Yorktown into the harbor, they would significantly damage the area’s natural resources and the harbor’s ecosystem, including nearby marshes, estuaries, barrier islands, tidal creeks, and beaches. 

"The impacts of these pollutants in our environment are known, and they are long-lasting," said Department of Natural Resources Director Robert Boyles. "Today, we gather at halftime between Phase 1 and Phase 2 of this remediation project to remind people of the importance of our natural resources and how important it is that we have an orderly removal of the pollutants that remain on the USS Yorktown."

Phase 1 of the remediation project was conducted from August to December 2023. It included the extraction of 568,800 gallons of oily water, the removal of 8.88 tons of sludge and mud, the disposal of 4.5 tons of asbestos waste, and 35 external hull repairs. 

Phase 2 went before the Joint Bond Review Committee on March 20 for approval. It includes the removal of 1.2 million gallons of hydrocarbons, 15,000 gallons of fluid from non-structural compartments, the removal of bulk liquid from machinery room bilge compartments, and the repair and cleaning of tanks. 





Enhancing community health through small businesses

By Jill Palmer

For more information please visit the website at mentalwellnesscenter.info

In the bustling tapestry of our communities, small businesses stand as more than just economic engines. They are vibrant hubs that play a crucial role in nurturing the health and wellness of the neighborhoods they serve. Let's explore how these local enterprises contribute to the well-being of their communities.

Collaborate for Health

Small businesses often forge partnerships with local health organizations and initiatives. Through hosting events such as health fairs, nutrition workshops, and fitness challenges, they not only raise awareness but also crucial funds for community health projects. This collaborative spirit fosters a healthier environment for all by promoting preventive care and encouraging active lifestyles among residents.

Environmental Stewardship

Locating a business in a walkable area can significantly reduce the carbon footprint. Businesses situated in areas with high Walk Scores not only encourage walking and biking but also support public transportation infrastructure. Additionally, many small businesses prioritize sustainable practices, such as using eco-friendly materials, reducing waste, and implementing energy-efficient measures. By embracing these initiatives, they contribute to the overall environmental health of the community.

Stabilize Housing Costs

The presence of small businesses can help stabilize housing costs within a community in various ways. Beyond attracting residents and visitors, these enterprises often invest in the upkeep and revitalization of commercial districts, which can have positive spillover effects on nearby residential areas. Moreover, small businesses provide employment opportunities for residents, reducing unemployment rates and increasing residents' purchasing power, which can indirectly influence housing affordability.

Celebrate Diversity

Small businesses serve as cultural ambassadors within our neighborhoods, showcasing a diverse array of products, cuisines, and traditions. By offering goods and services tailored to different cultural preferences, they create inclusive spaces where residents from all backgrounds feel represented and welcomed. Additionally, many small businesses actively participate in cultural events and celebrations, further enriching the community's tapestry and fostering cross-cultural understanding.

Economic Stimulus

Beyond their immediate offerings, small businesses are vital drivers of economic growth and prosperity. Their presence creates a multiplier effect, as money spent at local businesses circulates within the community, supporting other enterprises and services. Moreover, small businesses often source goods and services locally, strengthening the economic ecosystem and reducing dependence on external suppliers. This localized economic activity contributes to job creation, higher wages, and increased tax revenues, all of which are essential for community development.

Offer Inclusive Spaces

In addition to providing essential goods and services, small businesses play a crucial role in creating inclusive social spaces. From cozy cafes to vibrant community centers, these establishments offer gathering places where people can connect, socialize, and foster meaningful relationships. Many small businesses prioritize inclusivity by implementing accessible design features, offering diverse programming, and actively welcoming individuals from all walks of life. These inclusive spaces contribute to the overall well-being of the community by promoting social cohesion and reducing feelings of isolation.

Empowering Families

The jobs created by small businesses not only provide financial stability but also offer opportunities for personal and professional growth. Small business owners often serve as mentors, imparting valuable skills and knowledge to their employees. Moreover, many small businesses offer flexible work arrangements, allowing parents to balance their work and family responsibilities effectively. By empowering families through employment and support networks, small businesses contribute to the overall resilience and cohesion of the community.

Community  Engagement

Small businesses are deeply embedded in the social fabric of their communities, actively participating in local events and initiatives. Whether sponsoring youth sports teams, hosting charity fundraisers, or organizing neighborhood clean-up days, they play a pivotal role in fostering community spirit and civic pride. Moreover, small businesses often serve as gathering places where residents can come together to discuss local issues, share ideas, and collaborate on projects that benefit the entire community. This sense of belonging and shared purpose strengthens social bonds and creates a more cohesive and resilient community.

In the mosaic of community life, small businesses emerge as unsung heroes, enriching the tapestry of our neighborhoods in myriad ways. From promoting health and wellness to fostering inclusivity and economic prosperity, their contributions are woven into the very fabric of our collective well-being. As we continue to support and champion these local enterprises, we not only nurture thriving economies but also cultivate healthier, happier communities for generations to come.