WEST ASHLEY (The People’s Beat) – The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (CCPRC) broke ground on Old Towne Creek County Park on April 25 for Phase 1 Development of this West Ashley site.
Purchased by CCPRC from the Lowcountry Land Trust in 2011, Old Towne Creek County Park was a site that, up until recently, was only open to the public for low-impact special events such as the Wine Down Wednesday series. The property is located in West Ashley on Old Towne Road alongside Old Towne Creek. It is a 67-acre former estate dotted with open fields among groves of live oaks, and offers views of Charles Towne Landing, Old Towne Creek and the surrounding salt marsh.
CCPRC’s vision for the park is that it will provide a welcoming space for all that includes accessible trails and boardwalks, scenic marsh views, a nature-inspired playground, and opportunities to learn about the site’s history and ecology.
“We are proud to break ground on this very special property, and look forward to creating a park that will not only be a recreational destination for the Lowcountry, but also a place where visitors can learn about some of West Ashley’s unique history,” said Kevin Bowie executive director of the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission.
Phase 1 Development will include the below:
- Renovations of an existing building
- Roof replacement of existing stable buildings
- New restroom/pavilion building
- New maintenance building
- New accessible boardwalks and overlooks
- Playground with inclusive play elements and surfacing
- Accessible crushed stone pathways and concrete sidewalks
- Landscaped areas with irrigation
- Natural history and cultural resource interpretation signage
- Small amphitheater
- Parking areas
- Decorative fencing and gates along frontage
- Preservation of old brick entry and gates, and repurposed as a pedestrian entrance
- New paved vehicular entryway and deceleration/turning lane on Old Towne Road
- Site lighting, various utility additions and upgrades
- Reconstruction of an existing impoundment
- Creation of the Charleston County Parks Foundation Giving Tree, an outdoor art installation and fundraiser
Background on the property
The site where Old Towne Creek County Park now sits was once well known as Ashem Farm. It was home to Charleston preservationist couple Emily Ravenel Farrow and Ashby Farrow, and Mrs. Farrow’s St. Andrews Riding Academy. In 2005, Mrs. Farrow established a conservation easement with the Historic Charleston Foundation to protect the property from future development. The easement stipulates that the site must provide public benefits, such as scenic views, wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation, education, and historic preservation. Mrs. Farrow’s actions have ensured that future generations of people and wildlife would be able to enjoy all the resources Old Towne Creek has to offer. After her death in 2011, the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (CCPRC) purchased the land from the Lowcountry Land Trust. The planning process has been guided by a steering committee, and public input sessions were held in 2017. Initiated in 2017, the park master planning process included guidance from a steering committee of local stakeholders. During park master planning and throughout the design process, CCPRC and various regulatory authorities provided numerous opportunities for public comment.
Old Towne Creek County Park will remain closed to the public during the construction period. Phase 1 Development is expected to be completed in mid-2025. For updates on the construction project and opening of Old Towne Creek County Park, please visit www.ccprc.com/oldtowne [direct URL]. This website will be updated periodically with information and photos of the construction progress.