Fort Mill Times

Fort Mill’s Greenway wins South Carolina Parks’ Excellence Award

This past week, the Anne Springs Close Greenway was awarded the prestigious Parks Excellence Award by the South Carolina Recreation & Parks Association.

Close, Greenway Board member Jan Martin, Leroy Springs & Co. President Tim Patterson, and several members of the Greenway staff attended the awards luncheon tin Greenville to accept the honor.

“We’re honored to receive the Parks Excellence award from SCRPA,” Martin said.

“This award would not be possible without the outstanding Greenway staff that go above and beyond every day. It’s also a tribute to Anne Springs Close and her vision for ‘saving a few trees.’ The Greenway has been able to do that and so much more for the community.”

Tammy Woods, recreation director at the Complex on the Greenway, was also recognized in the State Merit category for her dedication to recreation at Leroy Springs over the past 23 years. From Complex programming, to recreation, youth sports and aquatics, she has spearheaded some of the most valued amenities this community has enjoyed over the last two decades, officials said.

In 1989, the Close family dedicated 2,000 acres of family land for public use to give Fort Mill locals a place they could get outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer. The result of Anne Close’s commitment to conservation has led to one of the most unique park and greenway operations in South Carolina and across the country.

The Anne Springs Close Greenway provides a natural refuge for wildlife and low impact recreation, and is protected in perpetuity from development by a conservation easement. Over the last several years, the Greenway has seen significant growth and change, including exponential growth in visitors. The last three years included construction of the Comporium Amphitheater, Mary Warner Mack Dog Park, the Marion Walsh Outdoor Classroom, and other wayfinding and infrastructure improvements, all made possible by the $12.7 million Nature Needs You capital campaign.

Officials said all of the enhancements are focused on providing a more enjoyable visit for the 250,000 annual visitors to the Greenway.

About Anne Springs Close Greenway

Opened in 1995, the Anne Springs Close Greenway is a 2,100-acre natural preserve that offers countless activities from hiking and biking and horseback riding to picnics and kayaking and more, while maintaining a natural habitat for wildlife. Its mission is to provide stewardship and protect the cultural, ecological and scenic features of the land, while also offering recreational and educational opportunities that promote the health and wellness of the community. Owned and operated by the nonprofit Leroy Springs & Co., Inc., the Greenway receives no tax money to build, maintain and operate trails and facilities. It is funded in part by the generous donations from individuals and corporations.