Restoration of Fortune Springs Park is underway

A representative with Davis & Floyd discusses the park’s restoration with Asst. Town Manager Chris Clausen, left, and Eddie Branham. | Barbara Ball

WINNSBORO – A first look at what a renovated Fortune Springs Park could look like in a couple of years was unveiled last week during a public meeting at the Old Armory.

The purpose of the meeting was to present the preliminary design for the park and receive community input on the project. Representatives from McCormick Engineering, the S.C. Office of Resilience (SCOR), and Planscape landscape designers presented the plans and explained the timeline of the project.

The project is being funded by two grants from SCOR totaling $2,300,560.90.

Presenter Jason Hetrick, senior manager of water resources for McCormick Taylor said the initial goal of the project is to address the underlying drainage and flooding issues that have undermined the original park design over the years.

“Due to aging existing drainage systems in the area, nuisance flooding occurs regularly within the park during heavy rains,” he said. “Portions of the park have become inaccessible, unsafe, or have fallen into disrepair. Our goal is to design and build an improved storm water system in and around Fortune Springs Park.

Hetrick said SCOR and the Town are seeking to implement nature-based storm water improvements in the park to reduce flooding from the roadway and other sources, and to restore full access to the park and its amenities.

“Storm water improvements will include constructed wetlands and floodplain benching, bioswales, a regenerative stream, improvements to the existing pond and strategic selection and placement of native vegetation in wetland and upland areas,” Hetrick said.

The final design will be presented in the fall of 2024 and construction will begin in December, 2024. The project is expected to be completed by the summer of 2026, to include all ground, pond work, trees and landscaping in place as shown in the rendering, as well as renovations to the pond, walkways, fountains, and other structures.

“We really thought this was going to just be the first phase – ground work, drainage, etc., but it looks like this group is going to do it all,” Taylor said. “We’ve been told that they will complete everything we see on the rendering. We might be doing a little more with the gazebos after they finish, but it looks like they are going to do it all.”

Taylor said the grant from SCOR will help to further the goal of revitalizing Winnsboro, making it a better place for its citizens, and more attractive for those considering making Winnsboro their home,” Taylor said. “This will have a long-lasting positive impact on the Town of Winnsboro.

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