What was Funded
The Camden Riverfront Environmental Park is located at the historic Port of Camden at 174 Bramblewood Plantation Road. The riverfront eco-tourism attraction is the result of hard work and funding appeals after the closure and remediation of a wastewater lagoon on the Wateree River. The site has been expanded from the original 16.5 acres to 26 acres and features an interior half-mile meandering waterway with fish and improved bird habitats. Surrounding the waterway is a trail of nearly a mile which will eventually connect to a county-wide trail system linking other area parks and trails. The park features a canoe and kayak launch, which includes a separate ADA compliant launch. There are observation areas, bridges, trails, a kayak lagoon with waterfall, and demonstration areas for agricultural and wildlife education.
In addition to the trail connections, future phases of the park’s development will include boardwalks connecting to the lagoon’s Duck Head Island and covered observation platforms, as well as additional educational amenities. With the project cost of $1.4 million, the park was a less expensive option for the site than the estimated $3 million cost of filling in the lagoon for abandonment.
About the Match
The National Park Service’s River, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program provided a technical assistance grant to help decide the best use for the lagoon through public input meetings. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources provided $100,000 for the canoe and kayak launch. The Land Water and Conservation Fund grant provided $500,000 to the project, which was administered by the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. The city budgeted the remaining $800,000.
"We love being able to come here, it’s peaceful and a great place for families to learn about conservation that is close to our community. -Park User