I would like to point out several incorrect statements in a recent letter to the editor related to the Town of Awendaw’s plans to construct a park.
The letter stated that the town included “a five-acre lake” in its application to Charleston County for Greenbelt funding. The application clearly states the lake would be 50 acres. The letter stated the lake would be a “modest” lake. The application states the lake would be a “major” lake and the main feature of the park.
The letter also stated that the site contributed to the class one watershed and air qualities of the area as “trees and other vegetation filtered air and the soil.” The Cultural Resources study of the site indicates that the property was part of a major plantation at least as early as 1825.
The owner at that time “farmed cotton, raised livestock and sold timber,” all of which would imply that there was little tree cover on the site. These uses continued at least until around 1923 when the land was sold.
In 1937 Southern Craft Corp. purchased the site and timbered it for over 80 years. The Jefferson Tract has not been an old growth forest for at least 200 years. The letter stated “the forest is gone.” Approximately 40 percent of the area has been cleared and will be replaced with a lake and park features. Over 60 percent of the site is still covered with trees.
Our plans are in conformance with DHEC storm water permits, and no “silt laden water” flows into jurisdictional wetlands or compromises downstream properties or natural features.
The mine will not impact hydrology in the area or impact family wells. It will in no way impact the Sewee shell mound. In fact, the park plans show that an Indian artifact area on our property will be protected.
The letter also fails to point out that the site had been approved for a 200-lot subdivision with a lake in the center. Certainly the town’s plans for a park will be dramatically less harmful to the area than that proposed development, which would have removed almost all trees from the property.
Finally, the letter was titled “Reject risky plan for mine in Awendaw.”
The only risky aspect of the park is for it not to be built. To deprive the citizens of Awendaw of a recreational facility that will improve their quality of life and force them to drive 15 miles to a comparable facility is not acceptable.
Rural areas deserve the same opportunity to have quality recreation areas as larger towns. This park will provide that opportunity.
D. William Wallace
Town of Awendaw