Sanford promotes park plan for Daniel Island

Sanford promotes park plan for Daniel Island
August 02 15:27 2018 Print This Article

Congressman Mark Sanford announced his plans to start a non-profit to advocate for the creation of a 400-acre park on the southern tip of Daniel Island in a press conference at Harry Hallman Waterfront Park in Mt. Pleasant. He referenced the Charleston area’s rapid growth and the need to increase water access for ordinary residents. He said, “Charleston has a unique quality of life that attracts people. If we are not vigilant, we could wind up looking like South Florida.”

Sanford, who lost his Republican primary to State Representative Katie Arrington of Summerville in June, said that his pursuit will continue after he leaves Congress. He initially advocated for the park while completing his first term as Governor in 2006, after the decision was made to not build a port terminal at the site. Sanford wants the State Ports Authority, which still owns the land, to establish a conservation easement for what he terms the future Tri-County Waterfront Park. The park would include a six mile loop for bicyclists and pedestrians. Sanford envisions a free-market water taxi system to transport people to and from the park from the Charleston peninsula or Mt. Pleasant.

According to Sanford, the availability of passive space enhances surrounding property values and attracts people from the “creative class”, those who conduct their business on computers and have the flexibility to live wherever they choose. He cited Central Park in New York as a feature which makes the city an attractive place to live. He said that the great cities of the world, including Berlin, Stockholm, Rome and Sydney, all had the vision to set aside large swaths of open space within their population centers.

State Representative Nancy Mace, who represents all of Daniel Island, said she has received lots of e-mails in support of the park concept. Conservationist Jimmy Bagwell, who founded the group Save Shem Creek said, “We have got to preserve open spaces in the Lowcountry. We’re getting crowded out!” The Daniel Island News and Lowcountry Open Land Trust have also advocated for the plan.