Take a look with your mind’s eye at a beautiful painting. No matter whether it’s a Rembandt or a Monet, or one of the competent and talented local artists along the Grand Strand of South Carolina, each of those artists started with a blank canvas.
Rocky Point Community Forest north of Georgetown is in a way like that blank canvas.
A joint partnership between among the Winyah Rivers Alliance, Georgetown County and several funding partners, the 650-plus acres of community forest provides an opportunity to plan this park and forest from the ground up.
Emma Boyer is the land officer for the Winyah Rivers Alliance, with the organization owning 462 acres of the forest near the Northwest Regional Recreation Center along Choppee Road. Georgetown County owns 220 acres.
Boyer hopes people will invest about 15 minutes in taking a survey about goals and priorities for the land.
The Friends of Rocky Point have developed a survey, where they want to know the kinds of features people would like to see in this community forest.
Longtime residents may remember Rocky Point Park and Browns Ferry Park a few miles away along the Black River. They were first established by International Paper Company in the 1950s. Georgetown County later leased the parks for something like a dollar a year and operated them as county parks.
In the early 2000s, International Paper Company divested itself of much of its woodlands in South Carolina and elsewhere. Browns Ferry Park is no longer used at all.
About two years ago, a partnership of several funding agencies joined with the Winyah Rivers Alliance and Georgetown County to establish Rocky Point Community Forest.
Currently there is a cleared area with seven picnic tables and a portable toilet, while hosting a boat ramp and kayak launching point. Old logging roads will likely make up at least some parts of a future hiking or nature trail.
The questionnaire seeks input from people to find out what would be target goals for facilities and amenities at Rocky Point Community Forest. They also would like to know what priorities people would have for a facility, including questions about the desire for camping — inclusive of primitive camping, tent camping and/or RV camping.
The canvas is currently blank – well, there are a bunch of trees – but the development will include many suggestions generated by the survey.
Information on Rocky Point and a link to the survey are on the “Rocky Point Community Forest” Facebook page. There’s also a link to a recorded “Facebook Live” video where Boyer shares more information about the property.
The Winyah Rivers Alliance Web site has information specific to Rocky Point Community Forest at this link. There’s also a brief YouTube video about the property on their website at winyahrivers.org.
Boyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rocky Point Community Forest is looking to do a cleanup, but in a bit different way than usual. It suggests that people who would like to help the community forest come out and do a solo litter pick up. By doing that, the community forest will look nicer. People can have a chance to enjoy the outdoors and enjoy the riverfront view through the park. Volunteers should bring their own rakes, trash bags and any other tools.
The Rocky Point Community Forest is jointly owned, while the Georgetown County Parks and Recreation Department manages the park.
It’s just off Choppee Road on Rocky Point Road, near the Choppee Recreation Center at the Northwest Regional Park, 8259 Choppee Road, Georgetown, SC 29440.
The forest is accessible during daylight hours.
As with all recreation department facilities people are encouraged to practice social distancing and to wear a mask or face covering if other people are nearby.