City receives grant to help with wildlife sanctuary project

By HEATHER RUPPE

The City of Walterboro received a grant to help upgrade the Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary in an effort to attract more visitors to the city.

The grant is called The Undiscovered South Carolina Grant Program. It was awarded to the town of Walterboro by the SC Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT) for the purpose of stimulating tourism in the town’s wildlife sanctuary.

The City of Walterboro received the $200,000 grant for a large project that is expected to cost the city approximately $1.7 million.

According to information released by the SCPRT, Walterboro leaders plan to rebuild and rehabilitate the trails and boardwalks that are integrated into the sanctuary: The sanctuary itself spans over 800 acres and sits near the heart of the city. Visitors and residents can enjoy the natural area by walking or biking on the boardwalks and walking paths incorporated into the sanctuary. There are also educational markers throughout the sanctuary to identify native plants and trees.

“The City of Walterboro is very grateful for the generous grant from the Undiscover SC Grant Program,” said William T. Young, Jr., Mayor of the City of Walterboro. “Improvements to the wildlife sanctuary parkways are a top priority for the city and will bring thousands of visitors to Walterboro each year.”

Walterboro is one of four municipalities in the state to receive this award. Other grant recipients include the Town of Bluffton, the Town of Kingstree and the City of Florence.

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

The Town of Bluffton received an SCPRT grant of $25,895 for its Garvin-Garvey House exhibits.

The town of Kingstree received $200,000 in SCPRT grants to help improve access to the Black River, and the town of Florence received an SCPRT grant of $119,105 to help build a new football complex for its industry athletics and sports tourism.

According to information provided by the SCPRT, each of the four recipients was selected based on the program’s four evaluation criteria: Leverage and Collaboration; Feasibility; Ability; and strategic impact.

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