A new organization has sprouted in the community looking to assist in the creation of Whitehall Park at the soon-to-be-developed Whitehall Plantation on Lady’s Island.
Friends of Whitehall Park is circulating a petition through Change.org to bring the community together and help bolster support for the land purchase and creation of a proposed park along the waterfront at the island side of the Woods Memorial Bridge.
“We’re here to help unify the community about Whitehall’s future,” said the organization’s creator, Paul Butare, a resident of Lady’s Island.
“We’re a community-based organization focused on helping to make Whitehall Park a reality and to make it a special place for our entire community.”
Developers building on the Whitehall location have offered to sell up to 10 acres of the property for a public park to be built but the deal would have to come together by the end of August.
The county and the Open Land Trust are looking into the possibility, but the price tag is a bit hefty. The Beaufort County Open Land Trust is continuing positive discussions with Beaufort County, Whitehall Point Holdings and the City of Beaufort to make the park a reality by negotiating a price that does not exceed the appraised value of property. Donations toward the purchase are being accepted online.
Along with the plans to build an independent living facility with a pool at the site, along with commercial space, homes and condos, developers have envisioned a waterfront park with walking and biking trails along the Beaufort River which would be accessible from downtown by using the Woods Memorial Bridge and would be treated as an extension of Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park and would be eventually be part of a walking and biking network connecting a loop between Beaufort, Lady’s Island and Port Royal.
Butare and his group would love to see that happen and the petition is gathering support. As of Monday, less than a week since it was created, the petition already has over 1,200 signatures.
“This is a one time opportunity, since once ground is broken and buildings put in place, the chance for a park is gone forever,” Butare’s petition says.
If the park is created, Butare says his organization will transition into volunteering with the upkeep and beautification of the park, as well as being a voice for its future.