Columbia, S.C. – The South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism (SCPRT) is pleased to announce the 2022 award recipients of the Undiscovered South Carolina grant program: Aiken County Parks, the City of North Augusta, the City of Rock Hill, and Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission.
The Undiscovered South Carolina grant program was created to help communities all over the state realize their full tourism potential. Counties or municipal governments can apply for funding to develop and maintain publicly-owned tourism products and attractions that bring visitors to “undiscovered” parts of the Palmetto State. Online applications for the next round of grant funding open on May 8.
“Our state is full of rich history, incredible natural treasures, and one-of-a-kind experiences, and the Undiscovered South Carolina grant helps our small towns, cities, and counties capitalize on those gifts,” said SCPRT Director Duane Parrish. “Tourism had an estimated $29 billion economic impact in South Carolina last year. This program was created to help every corner of the state enjoy the positive impact successful tourism products have on our local economies and quality of life. The road less traveled gets more exciting year after year thanks to the projects that benefit from this program.”
Aiken County Parks | Langley Pond Park Rowing Course Dock
Recommended SCPRT Grant Award - $160,000 | Total Project Cost - $320,000
Langley Pond Park is a nationally recognized park and venue in Aiken County that has hosted more than 50 local, regional, and national-level rowing events. This grant will support the construction of spectator docks at the Langley Pond Rowing Venue finish line and 500-meter mark, along with an eight-lane start dock. The finish line spectator dock would hold approximately 500 spectators, and the 500-meter dock would hold approximately 150 spectators.
“Aiken County Parks, Recreation, and Tourism is beyond thrilled to be awarded the Undiscovered South Carolina grant for this cycle,” said Mark van der Linden, Director of Aiken County Parks, Recreation, and Tourism. “The assistance the grant provides has continued to help us grow Langley Pond Park into a destination park in our region, but more importantly, has provided financial assistance towards capital projects at our world-class rowing venue. The projects funded by the Undiscovered South Carolina grant have a direct impact on recruiting additional high-level events that create big tourism dollars for Aiken County.”
City of North Augusta | Sharon Jones Amphitheater Expansion
Recommended SCPRT Grant Award - $150,000 | Total Project Cost - $300,000
Sharon Jones Amphitheater is an entertainment venue on the Savannah River used for concerts, performances, and other community events. This grant will support the construction of additional seating – potentially adding up to 500 more seats – to the facility.
“The City of North Augusta is thrilled to partner with SCPRT through the Undiscovered South Carolina grant program,” said Karl Waldhauer, Superintendent of Facilities & Programs for the City of North Augusta Parks, Recreation & Tourism. “The resources provided will support the expansion of the Sharon Jones Amphitheater by increasing the current capacity of this facility by over 35%. The enlarged venue, which boasts the Savannah River as a backdrop, will make the facility inviting to host larger acts and attract visitors to North Augusta and the ‘West Coast’ of South Carolina!”
City of Rock Hill | Rock Hill BMX Facility Sidewalk Connector
Recommended SCPRT Grant Award - $173,725 | Total Project Cost - $348,000
The Rock Hill BMX Supercross Track is the only Olympic-caliber training facility on the east coast, playing host to local, state, regional, and national events, along with races and programs for all ages and skill levels. This project will support the construction of concrete sidewalks from the parking areas to the facility to make it easier for visitors to access the facility.
“The City of Rock Hill is thankful for the support of SCPRT in advancing recreation initiatives to make overall facility improvements for citizens and our guests,” said John Taylor, Director of Rock Hill Parks, Recreation and Tourism.
Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission | McLeod Plantation Historic Site Stabilization Phase III
Recommended SCPRT Grant Award - $200,000 | Total Project Cost - $400,000
McLeod Plantation Historic Site is an important 37-acre Gullah/Geechee heritage site that has been carefully preserved in recognition of its cultural and historical significance. The grant will support improving access to the facility, painting and repairs at the Main House, and the stabilization of the Dairy and Praise House buildings. Additional conservation and preservation work will also be done on the third floor of the Main House.
“The preservation of McLeod Plantation Historic Site is a vital investment in our future, and the recognition and support provided by the Undiscovered South Carolina grant program is a powerful testament to the importance of its cultural and historical significance,” said Kevin Bowie, Executive Director of the Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission. “The improvements to the site will allow our interpretive guides to expand upon the site's central theme and add new experiences to enable more untold stories to come to life.”
Undiscovered South Carolina grant information and eligibly criteria:
- Amount: $50,000 to $200,000
- Cash match: 1 to 1
- The applicant must be a county or municipal government with Accommodations Tax distributions of $900,000 or less, according to data released by the State Treasurer’s Office.
These four recipients were selected based on the program’s four evaluation criteria: Project Need, Project Planning & Readiness, Scope of Work, and Strategic Impact.
Find additional award criteria and eligibility information, along with information for the next grant cycle, at scprt.com/tourism/grants/undiscovered-sc-grant. Learn more about SCPRT grant programs at scprt.com/grants.