Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site needs and deserves our support. Being the birthplace of South Carolina, it far surpasses all others in the State Parks System by continuing to showcase the true and complete history of Charleston to over 130,000 visitors each year.
As noted in the July 4 Post and Courier article, the entire system of S.C. State Parks has adapted admirably since 2013 when the state of South Carolina issued a mandate to “become self-sufficient by charging more and spending less.”
Knowing full-well this is easier said than done and that raising prices would prevent many from experiencing all of what the parks have to offer, park managers approached this goal both through superb financial management and by involving the public.
Locally, the Friends of Charles Towne Landing (all 75 of them) have raised and donated $63,000 between the years 2012 and 2015 by conducting “Race the Landing,” a series of 5k races, and through substantial donations from individuals each year.
Also, the Friends have partnered with the Garden Club of Charleston in donating and placing appropriate plants around the Legare-Waring House and other areas throughout the park. During the same time period, volunteers have worked a total of 8,000 hours, which is the equivalent of $120,000 or four full-time workers.
Although what is being done is most impressive, much is yet to be accomplished. The membership of 75 within the Friends of Charles Towne Landing is a “nice group”; however, several hundred would be even “nicer.” The efforts of volunteers, as noted above, are quite impressive and have made a tremendous impact, but this figure could be doubled or tripled.
We have both a privilege and a responsibility to preserve a unique historic treasure that can never be replaced. You can do this by becoming actively involved in Charles Towne Landing either by joining the Friends, working as a volunteer, or by writing a check to P.O. Box 31731 Charleston, S.C. 29417-1731 in support of the facilities and programs currently in place or planned for Charles Towne Landing.
Melvin H. Ezell Jr.
Friends of Charles