Richland County Council is taking steps to re-introduce a vision for a sustainable, inclusive tourism economy in Lower Richland.
In 2018, the Richland County Conservation Commission (RCCC) developed the Lower Richland Tourism Plan (LRTP). Capitalizing on the drawing power of Congaree National Park as a hub for nature tourism, the LRTP is intended to build on natural and heritage resources in Lower Richland and, in turn, benefit the County as a whole.
At its meeting Tuesday, July 12, County Council accepted the plan conceptually. The LRTP now heads to the County’s Planning Commission for consideration and inclusion as an appendix in the Richland County Comprehensive Plan. Council has final say as to how and when the County adopts individual proposals of the LRTP.
Find the complete plan and an overview video on the RCCC page on the County’s website: www.richlandcountysc.gov/Government/Commissions/Conservation-Commission.
The LRTP: Developing a Vision
Work on the LRTP began in 2016 as an outcome of recommendations from the Lower Richland Master Plan. Development centered on engaging economic development around the national park, which in 2021 attracted nearly 215,000 visitors, resulting in a $12.3 million boost to the local economy.
To gather input for the plan, Richland County conducted interviews and hosted community meetings with nearly 200 local stakeholders.
The County and stakeholders sought to highlight local nature and heritage assets, such as the Wateree River and preserved bottomland habitat in the area. The LRTP also aims to ensure that Lower Richland residents benefit through:
- Increased visitation to local businesses
- Interpretation of local historical sites and heritage resources
- Increased open space, access to the natural environment and community services, which also benefit visitors
After the LRTP was completed in 2018, the County’s Conservation Commission requested the plan’s acceptance by Richland County Council. However, because of other priorities, including ongoing flood recovery efforts and the County’s response to COVID-19, Council had not considered the plan until now.
For more information on the LRTP, contact John McKenzie at 803-576-2083 or firstname.lastname@example.org.