Updates planned for Screven, East Bay parks

New landscaping and new parking are planned for Screven Street and Easy Bay parks, respectively.

The City Council discussed designs for both spaces at its workshop Sept. 25.

Cindy Thompson, coordinator of Keep Georgetown Beautiful, presented plans to renovate Screven Street Park with updated landscaping and fixtures.

She said that the “KGB noticed it wasn’t up to par,” so it applied for a grant from the South Carolina State Parks, which was accepted.

The group now has $30,000 to use for updating the park.

Thompson said the group formed a four-person committee consisting of three master gardeners to come up with a design for the space, which surrounds the fountain at the corner of Screven and Front streets.

The new design includes replacing the existing wooden edging with brick, and building it up so it can be used for seating. More benches will be added, in addition to a pergola to provide shade.

In the flower beds, current bushes will be replaced with blooming shrubs and low maintenance plants, such as azaleas and sago palms. A trellis will be added between the Strand Theater and the public restrooms, and the restroom sign will be updated to match other city wayfinding signs.

KGB has plans to work with the electric department to design a maintenance schedule for the existing trees, and to add uplighting below them for safety and aesthetic purposes.

An irrigation system is also planned for the space to keep it low maintenance.

“I think it will be a real improvement,” said Thompson. “An overall spruce up.”

She said with approval from City Council, the bid process will start immediately. “This is a very visible, very busy park. Once approved, we will get this implemented right away.”

Council responded well to the plans. “It’s important to see the seating capacity there,” said Councilman Ed Kimbrough.

“From what you’ve explained to us, the aesthetic is immaculate,” said Councilman Rudolph Bradley.

Mayor Jack Scoville noted that security has been a concern there, and requested adding security cameras to the renovation plan.

Because it was not an action item, there was no formal vote from City Council, but a consensus of approval instead.

East Bay Park

Later in the meeting, Administrator Chris Carter brought a new plan for parking at the boat landing in East Bay Park to the attention of the body.

He showed the council a plan for parking designed by the Georgetown County engineer. The design featured double and single parking spots to be able to accommodate boat trailers as well as cars parking for the adjacent ball fields.

The existing road would be used and no ball field space would be lost as a part of the design.

Although Council did like the design for the double parking spots, many members were concerned that the new plan didn’t leave space for walkers and bikers.

“I just see this park becoming one giant parking lot for just one activity,” said Councilman Brendon Barber in disapproval. “It has to be people-friendly.”

“We need to incorporate walking spaces,” said Kimbrough. “As long as this allows for that within, it will be fine.”

Several councilmembers brought up a plan for the space previously designed by the city engineer that was met with great approval, and suggested the two engineers work together to combine the designs.

“You went from a five-star conceptual plan to a one-star conceptual plan,” said Barber.

Although the county does manage East Bay Park, it is a City of Georgetown park and any improvements, including a new parking lot, would be paid for by the city.

Carter said planned improvements to the park will cost an estimated $226,000.