Gills Creek Greenway A Update 10/26/2017
Slow Greenway Progress
After at least three months, the County has drafted and approved an agreement between the City and the County for the City to maintain and provide security for the greenway. It is currently being reviewed by the City. Unfortunately, any work on the greenway design is still on hold until the agreement is finalized. We have not seen the agreement. Call County Council representatives for more information.
Liberty Tax/Title Max Property News
The Title Max property at 4624 Devine St which has been a focus of the flood disaster has been bought by a local developer. The developer lives in Columbia and has expressed interest in incorporating the greenway into his development of the property and using best management practices for stormwater management, though we have seen no plans. We will work to make sure any development has proper stormwater management and is greenway friendly.
Transportation Penny Greenway Advisory Committee
We participated in the meeting on Tuesday, September 26.
The City has developed greenway guidelines that define requirements for urban and recreational greenways. The City considers most of Gills Creek Greenway A an urban greenway which requires a 14' wide base with 12' wide asphalt pavement. This would also probably require boardwalks to be 14' wide. Considerations include access by emergency vehicles, and space for pedestrians, bicyclists and wheelchairs.
We will be meeting with the City to discuss the application of the guidelines to different sections of the greenway.
The next advisory committee meeting is scheduled for December 5.
Transportation Penny Advisory Committee Meeting (TPAC)
We attended the County's advisory committee meeting on Monday, September 25. Again, there was not a quorum so no business could be conducted. There were reports from the CMRTA, the Office of Small Business Opportunities program, and the PDT.
We also attended the Monday, October 23 committee meeting. Again, there was not a quorum so no business could be conducted. However, new members were announced:
Tiajuanna "Tia" D. Evans
Of the new members, we believe only Mr Johnson and Mr Brown were in attendance.
There were reports from the CMRTA, the OSBO, and the PDT.
More info on the greenway plans: http://www.gillscreekwatershed.org/gills_creek_greenway_a.html
The Richland Penny site: http://www.richlandpenny.com
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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.
The Penny Team's web site is richlandpenny.com and you can contact them by email at info@RichlandPenny.com.
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.
General benefits, economic benefits, health benefits, safety and environmental facts.
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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