By Doug Lockard 04Nov22
By a vote of 9-3, Greenville County Council (GCC) members voted to approve a $400,000 allocation of funds by the Greenville County Historic and Natural Resource Trust (GCHNRT) providing the final piece of a momentous expansion of Paris Mountain State Park in the heart of the Upstate. This public-private partnership enables the incorporation of the 146-acre Shiloh Ridge as part of a combined 270 acre and $2.3 million park expansion–almost the entire western side of Paris Mountain—into the park. Park officials indicate the park is already seeing almost a half-million visitors a year and this new addition will eventually incorporate as many as 17 new trails.
The SC Native Plant Society (SCNPS) is particularly pleased with this addition for several reasons. First, the preservation of such a large swath of habitat in the midst of such rapidly urban growth area will prove to be a tremendous bulwark for native plant diversity and beneficial wildlife as well as an anchor for wildlife corridors essential to species survival. Secondly, opening up the additional native plant communities on the western side of the mountain will enable our growing community to experience an even greater diversity of native plant habitats.
The SCNPS would like to extend our gratitude to both the public and private partners that made this possible. The private Naturaland Trust contributed 120 acres to the project, and the Greenville Community Foundation provided non-governmental participation.
The public S.C. Conservation Bank, our S.C. State Parks and the National Parks Service’s Land and Water Conservation Fund each provided significant funding and support for the $2.35 million park expansion.
Thank you–all of you–for the courage, vision and perseverance in this singular act of conservation which will benefit our Upstate communities for generations to come.
All of these people coming together and finding a way to achieve the seeming impossible for a better tomorrow. Right here, today, in the Upstate. That’s what we’re talking about.