Gills Creek Greenway A Update 7/25/2017


Richland County Council approved the greenway plan at the June 6 council meeting. Councilperson Greg Pearce's amendments 1) to offer any interested party a statement that the greenway alignment will not be changed from the west side of the creek to the east side between Rosewood Dr and the Norfolk Southern railroad trestle over S Beltline, and 2) that the City of Columbia formally agree to maintain and provide security for the greenway after it is built were approved.

That agreement between the City and the County has been drafted and is waiting approval by both jurisdiction's attorneys. Unfortunately, any work on the greenway design is on hold until the agreement is finalized.

The approved plan would begin at Ft Jackson Blvd and end at Bright Ave unless funding allows extending it to Timberlane Drive.

The greenway portion of the County Council agenda for June 6 is available here:

Bad Information!
It has come to our attention that there is a 'fabricated' map circulating on Facebook which shows the current approved greenway route plus overlays of a route down Gills Creek Parkway and bridges connecting the east and west banks of the creek. This is NOT the Penny's plan and does not reflect the scope of the Gills Creek Greenway A project! Please assure anyone who asks that this is NOT the County's secret plan to invade anyone's backyard!

FEMA HMGP (Hazard Mitigation Grant Program) Update
A representative from SCEMD attended a recent technical committee meeting and stated decisions on buyout offers should be made by September 2017. This would include the commercial properties on Crowson Rd and Devine St as well as residential properties in the Timberlane Drive area. These buyouts would include demolishing the structures and returning the areas to greenspace. This would greatly enhance the greenway thru those areas.

319 Grant Crowson Road Restoration
The GCWA grant request has been preliminarily accepted by DHEC. We have been asked to provide some revisions including information on maintenance, cost estimates and property ownership.

This project will be done in coordination with the Penny Team and will reshape the creek banks, replant the stream buffer with native plants, and reduce stormwater and non-point source pollution entering Gills Creek improving the health of Gills Creek and the appeal of the Cross Hill/Rosewood Crossing area.

Transportation Penny Advisory Committee (TPAC)
The Transportation Penny Advisory Committee has 6 vacancies. The Town of Eastover has 1 vacancy and Richland County has 5 seats available. If you are interested in serving, contact your County Council member. The application is available at Return the application to Kimberly Roberts ( Ms. Roberts staffs the Rules & Appointments Committee, which is responsible for conducting interviews for the vacancies. Rules & Appointments will then make recommendations to full Council on who to appoint to the committee. TPAC's mission is "to review, comment on and provide recommendations to Richland County Council regarding the Council’s use of the one-cent additional sales tax that voters approved in the November 2012 referendum." The committee meets on the fourth Monday of most months at 5:30pm in the fourth floor conference room of the Richland County Administrative Offices at 2020 Hampton Street.
More info:

More info on the greenway plans:

The Richland Penny site:

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Gills Creek Greenway A

Gills Creek Greenway A Penny Project

The citizens of Richland County approved a penny increase in the sales tax to fund transportation improvements. A portion of those monies will be available for the development of greenways. Three locations along Gills Creek were identified as sites for greenway development including the area encompassed by our plan.

We believe a greenway could be a great asset to the community, as it has been for many others. We have been working with the Penny team to develop plans for the greenway, and have been seeking other funds to enhance the plan by improving the condition of the creek.

Gills Creek Penny Handout
The Penny Team's web site is and you can contact them by email at

Goals and Objectives

The Gills Creek Watershed Association's mission is to restore and protect the watershed primarily by reducing the impacts of the urban environment. Our goals include:
  • Improve water quality in the Gills Creek Watershed
  • Reduce stormwater runoff and flooding
  • Develop access for pedestrian and paddling recreation
  • Better habitat in and along the creek for wildlife and aquatic life
  • Create a great place for people to connect with nature
  • Provide new educational opportunities for schools and the community
  • A signature place in Columbia; a center of community pride
By getting folks out enjoying the creek, we hope to increase appreciation for the creek and generate interest that will help us achieve our other goals.

On the north end, trails will intersect the Capital City Passage of the Palmetto Trail on Kilbourne Road just below the Lake Katharine dam.

At the south end, the Gills Creek Blue Trail will connect to the Congaree River Blue Trail.

In between there are numerous opportunities for walking, jogging, cycling and paddling trails, nature observation, fishing, and other outdoor activities.

And there is the opportunity to restore, retrofit, and the institute best management practices (BMPs) to reduce pollution, the impact of stormwater runoff, and flooding in developed and undeveloped areas.

A Richland County Conservation Grant allowed us to develop a master plan that was presented in November 2013.
View or download the Gills Creek Middle Watershed Master Plan as a pdf file.

City of Columbia Commercial Devine St/Fort Jackson Commercial Node Plan evaluated the area of Devine St, Crosshill Rd and Fort Jackson Blvd for land use and urban design, market conditions, transportation, utilities and green infrastructure, and to propose a conceptual plan including recommendations and implementation strategies for future development.
More information about the study is available at the city's Planning and Development web site.

The City also has a Walk-Bike Columbia web page which allows the user to identify places on a map where they want improvements for biking, walking, access to transit, or a bike share station in Columbia!

The current route of the Palmetto Conservation Foundation's Palmetto Trail runs along Kilbourne Rd across Gills Creek. Our trail would connect to Kilbourne just east of the creek.
More info is available at the Finish the Palmetto Trail web site.

Greenway Facts...

General benefits, economic benefits, health benefits, safety and environmental facts.

Greenway Examples...

Swamp Rabbit Trail, Falls Park on the Reedy, Little Sugar Creek, San Antonio River Walk

Middle Watershed Plan

A working group in the Gills Creek Watershed Association developed an aspirational plan to improve the urban area from Ft Jackson Blvd to Rosewood and to preserve the other relatively undeveloped stretches of Gills Creek from the Lake Katharine dam to Shop Road as a greenway and a blueway. Based on the ideas developed in the initial plan, Gills Creek Watershed Association received a grant from the Richland County Conservation Commission to complete a Master Plan for the Middle Gills Creek Watershed which extends from Kilbourne Road to Shop Road. Additional funding was provided by Edens. The final results of this project is a community endorsed Middle Watershed Plan with greenways, best management practices for handling stormwater, and identified stream restoration projects.

Please note that this project plan has been superseded by the Richland County Transportation Penny Gills Creek Greenway Section A project. Perhaps as the benefits of the Greenway A are realized, the expanded plan presented here can be implemented.

See the old plan which includes maps of the area...

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