Rep. Mark Sanford makes push for huge park on Daniel Island


Rep. Mark Sanford made a push to add a massive park to the southern point of Daniel Island on Thursday morning.

It would be like Central Park in New York City but with a distinctly southern flavor.  

During a press conference at Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park, the congressman and former South Carolina governor presented designs for what he called a "park of scale for our region."

"It's something that could be yet another embellishment and another addition to that which makes our area the tourism Mecca that it is," Sanford said.

Sanford, along with state and local leaders, are working together now, to preserve a very important piece of land for the future. It's 400 acres owned by the State Ports Authority, located in the righthand quadrant of Daniel Island, along the Wando River. The tip faces the Ravenel Bridge. 

"I am chairman of the Save Shem Creek board and all we hear from people is how much they want to preserve open spaces and retain the quality of life that we've come to love here in the Lowcountry," Jimmy Bagwell said.

It would be called: Tri-County Waterfront Park. Sanford says he would hate to see the pristine property overdeveloped.   

"I'm simply saying I want to resubmit this idea into the bloodstream of the Lowcountry before I leave office," Sanford said.

The park would take up 450 acres and include more than six miles of pedestrian and bike pathways. 

"If we're not deliberate we will end up the way that the New York metro area goes or the way South Florida area goes," Sanford said. 

And he says a park with soccer fields and a six-mile bike loop that would invite people to come out and relax, doesn't have to mean traffic headaches on Daniel Island. 

"Twenty-two million people travel on those Staten Island ferries alone," he said. "If you look at Venice more than 20 million people a year travel by ferry.  If you look at Bangkok, more than 20 million people a year travel by ferry."

People from anywhere in the area would be able to ferry over to Tri-County Waterfront Park, leaving their cars behind.

But don't pull out your walking shoes or bike just yet. This is a project that won't take shape until decades from now.   

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