Richland County Council is taking steps to reintroduce a vision for a sustainable tourism economy in Lower Richland.
At its July 12 meeting, council accepted the Lower Richland Tourism Plan conceptually. As a result, the plan will now head to the County Planning Commission for consideration and possible inclusion in the county’s Comprehensive Plan.
The tourism plan was created in 2018 by the Richland County Conservation Commission. Its purpose is to capitalize on the drawing power of Congaree National Park as a hub for nature tourism, build on natural and heritage resources in the Lower Richland area and benefit the county as a whole.
Work on the plan started in 2016 as the result of recommendations from the Lower Richland master plan. Much of it centered on engaging economic development around the national park.
To gather input, county staff conducted interviews and hosted community meetings with about 200 local stakeholders.
Along with the national park, the plan seeks to highlight other local natural and heritage assets including the Wateree River and preserved bottomland habitat. Other goals include increasing visits to local businesses as well as expanding open space, access to nature and community services.
The plan was completed in 2018 and the conservation commission requested county council to accept it. However, Council did not consider the plan until this year because of other priorities including ongoing flood recovery efforts and the county’s response to COVID-19.
Council will now have the final say as to how and when individual proposals of the plan are adopted.
More information on the tourism plan can be found at https://www.richlandcountysc.gov/Government/Commissions/Conservation-Commission