SCPRT awards grants to Walterboro, Bluffton, Kingstree, and Florence to support local tourism projects

April 28, 2022

Columbia, S.C. – The South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism (SCPRT) is pleased to announce the 2021 award recipients of the Undiscovered South Carolina grant program: the City of Walterboro, the Town of Bluffton, the Town of Kingstree, and the City of Florence.

The Undiscovered South Carolina grant program assists communities with the development of publicly-owned tourism products and attractions that bring visitors to “undiscovered” parts of the Palmetto State.

“Tourism has a $24 billion economic impact in South Carolina,” said SCPRT Director Duane Parrish. “Local economies benefit enormously from successful tourism attractions, but developing, implementing, and maintaining those tourism products is often a long-term, complex, and expensive process. The Undiscovered South Carolina grant program helps communities put their big ideas and hidden gems on the map, bringing tourism dollars to new – and more – places around the state.”   

City of Walterboro | Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary Boardwalk Revitalization
Recommended SCPRT grant award - $200,000 | Total project cost - $1,701,000
The City plans to rebuild and rehabilitate paths and boardwalks that canvas a braided creek within the ACE Basin. The Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary is located minutes off of I-95 and offers Lowcountry visitors a convenient, one-of-a-kind experience with miles of boardwalks, trails, and observation decks.

“The City of Walterboro is very appreciative of the generous grant award from the Undiscovered SC grant program,” said William T. Young, Jr., Mayor of the City of Walterboro. “The improvements to the boardwalks in the Wildlife Sanctuary are a top priority for the city and will attract thousands of visitors to Walterboro each year.”

Town of Bluffton | Garvin-Garvey House Exhibits
Recommended SCPRT grant award - $25,895 | Total project cost - $51,970
The Garvin-Garvey House Museum sits along the May River and was built by Cyrus Garvey, a freedman. His family lived on the same property until 1961. The house is considered to be the earliest known home built by a former slave. The home has already been renovated, but permanent exhibits are needed to better share the rich history of its residents. This project will develop permanent interpretive exhibits for the restored Garvin-Garvey House.

“More so than any other town project, the Garvin-Garvey House has garnered statewide, regional, and national attention, which speaks to the community’s thirst for knowing the stories of underrepresented communities,” said Stephen Steese, Town Manager of Bluffton. “The South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism’s grant enables the town to better tell the story of Cyrus Garvey and his family during Reconstruction, as they symbolize the resilience and resourcefulness to reinvent their lives as freedmen.”

Town of Kingstree | Black River Landing Phase I
Recommended SCPRT grant award - $200,000 | Total project cost - $400,000
This project will enhance a public access area along the Black River in the Town of Kingstree. The first phase of the project includes constructing a parking lot, with handicap parking and space for vehicles with trailers, and building a public restroom.

“The Town of Kingstree is taking advantage of one of the assets we have always had, the Black River,” said Richard L. Treme, Kingstree Town Manager. “We are thankful for South Carolina Parks, Recreation & Tourism and the Undiscovered SC program for their help in obtaining these funds. It is an economic boost for the Town of Kingstree and Williamsburg County.”

City of Florence | Florence Soccer Complex Field Addition Athletics & Sports Tourism
Recommended SCPRT grant award - $119,105 | Total project cost - $528,313
The Florence Soccer Complex is a destination for sports tourism and has hosted soccer, lacrosse, and flag football tournaments, as well as ultimate frisbee competitions. This project will add four additional fields to the Florence Soccer Complex to give a total of 14 fields. The additional fields will allow for more flexibility in the types of events and tournaments that can be hosted there.

“The City of Florence is extremely grateful to receive the award from the 2021 Undiscovered Grant,” said Tim Wilson, the Athletic Director for the City of Florence. “This grant will allow us to expand the Florence Soccer Complex and give the Athletics/Sports Tourism Department the opportunity to have more flexibility and bring in larger tournaments to the City of Florence.”

Undiscovered South Carolina grant information and eligibly criteria:

  • Amount: Up 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: Leveraging and Collaboration; Feasibility; Capacity; and Strategic Impact.

Find additional award criteria and eligibility information for the Undiscovered South Carolina grant program at scprt.com/tourism/grants/undiscovered-sc-grant. Learn more about SCPRT grant programs at scprt.com/grants.

For more information, contact Sam Queen at sam@scprt.com or 803-734-1779.

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Need more information?   Sam Queen
Director of Corporate Communications
SC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism
1205 Pendleton Street, Columbia, SC 29201
Sam@scprt.com | 803-734-1779
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