New Welcome Center at Anne Springs Close Greenway Will Serve as “Front Door” for Members and Visitors
FORT MILL, S.C., March 20, 2018 — The Anne Springs Close Greenway today announced plans for a new 6,300-square-foot welcome center to be located at the Greenway’s Lake Haigler entrance off of US Highway 21 in Fort Mill. The facility will be the first major building constructed on the Greenway since its formation in 1995. Most of the funding for the project, which will cost an estimated $4 million, will come from donations made during the Greenway’s “Nature Needs You” capital campaign conducted in 2012. Additional donations will be sought from individuals and companies in Fort Mill and the greater Charlotte region.
“Our new Welcome Center will provide a much-needed “front door” and focal point for the Greenway, a place where members and visitors can meet to learn all about the Greenway and how they can get the most enjoyment out of their time spent in nature on our beautiful 2,100 acres of preserved land.”
– Jan Martin, chair, Anne Springs Close Greenway Board of Managers
The welcome center will serve as a place for members and visitors to come to learn about the Greenway’s mission and its myriad outdoor recreational and educational programs. It will house the Greenway’s member services staff which, in addition to providing an orientation to the 2,100-acre Greenway property and its 40-plus miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails, will assist visitors with purchasing memberships, registering for Greenway programs, summer camps and special events, and purchasing Greenway-branded merchandise.
“Our new Welcome Center will provide a much-needed “front door” and focal point for the Greenway” said Jan Martin, chair, Anne Springs Close Greenway Board of Managers. “It will be a place where members and visitors can meet to learn all about the Greenway and how they can get the most enjoyment out of their time spent in nature on our beautiful 2,100 acres of preserved land.
“We’re grateful to members of the Anne Springs Close family, our major capital donors and other individual and corporate supporters in our community who have enabled this longtime vision of the Greenway to become a reality.”
The building has been carefully designed with natural features, materials and sustainability practices that will reflect the Greenway’s mission and complement the surrounding landscape. Located near the Greenway’s Nature Center adjacent to existing peach orchards and the historic Nation Ford Trail, the center will house a large, open lobby and reception area, a small café and kitchen, and offices for Greenway member services staff.
The facility’s extensive landscaping will feature a large formal lawn surrounding the center along with a variety of native plantings, including trees, shrubs, flowers and grasses. A gravel parking area located near the center will provide space for approximately 170 vehicles for regular visitors and special events.
Other special features of the welcome center include a large covered porch facing the Rush Pavilion picnic area and a large open natural corridor adjacent to Nation Ford Trail that leads to the 28-acre Lake Haigler.
Construction is scheduled to begin on the project in late April, with completion expected by Earth Day, April 22, 2019. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for April 20. Design architect for the project is Charlotte-based 505Design. Landscape architect is The Dodd Studio (Dan Dodd) of Fort Mill. A planned second phase of the welcome center project includes a “forest porch,” an elevated platform among the trees which will allow visitors and participants in the Greenway’s outdoor educational programs to experience nature in a unique way.
The Lake Haigler area of the Greenway is a popular destination for members and visitors and is the location of the Greenway’s Nature Center, Rush Pavilion picnic shelter and its annual Fall Frolic event. The Greenway’s other entrances are located at:
288 Dairy Barn Lane off of Old Nation Road near the intersection with Springfield Parkway (SC460) 104 Adventure Road off of Springfield Parkway (SC460), and
971 Tom Hall Street, where the Recreation Complex on the Greenway is located.
As a result of additions to its educational and recreational programs and special events in recent years, more and more people are coming to the Greenway and expanding their participation and involvement. Last year, approximately 281,000 people visited the Greenway, and membership levels have climbed to nearly 5,000 households and more than 15,000 individuals. The number of volunteers on the Greenway have also increased, with more than 1,300 active volunteers participating in support of Greenway activities last year.
More Greenway News:
Lake Haigler to Get New Fishing and Educational Dock, Kayak Launching Dock
A new 40-foot fishing and educational dock and kayak launch is being constructed this spring at Lake Haigler. The dock is being donated by the family and friends of Dr. Robert Scoville in his memory. Dr. Scoville was a longtime Rock Hill physician and supporter of the Greenway. A second smaller dock for launching rental kayaks is also being constructed.
Major Improvements to Biking, Hiking Trails
Major improvements have been completed recently to the Greenway’s hiking and mountain biking trails. The improvements include trail rerouting and resurfacing, and installation of bridges. With the completion of the 3.2-mile Prairie Loop mountain bike trail improvements, the Greenway now has nearly 9 miles of mountain bike trails. Visit the Greenway website to see the latest trail map and a guide to its more than 40 miles of hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding trails.
Member Services Offices Moving to New Location at Dairy Barn Entrance this Summer as Part of Recreation Complex Transition
Leroy Springs & Co., Inc. announced last fall that it is donating the Recreation Complex and certain adjacent land valued at more than $10.3 million to the Town of Fort Mill and Fort Mill School District. The school district, in partnership with the town and the YMCA, plan to create a new aquatics and recreation center for the Fort Mill community. Management of the Recreation Complex operations is expected to transition from the Greenway to the YMCA in June. As a result, the Greenway will be moving its member services staff at the Recreation Complex to temporary offices near its Dairy Barn entrance. The offices will be located in two former residential buildings that are being moved to the Greenway near the member services kiosk at the Dairy Barn entrance.
Greenway Launches New Assistance Program
An important tenet of the Greenway’s mission is to ensure that its programs and activities are open and accessible to all, regardless of economic status. A new assistance program recently adopted by the Greenway provides free or reduced-price membership, program fees, camp scholarships and other benefits to eligible families and individuals.