Residents weigh in on future Old Towne Park interpretation

From Staff Reports

The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (CCPRC) held a public information and input meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 29 for the interpretive master planning of Old Towne Creek County Park, a 67-acre park site located at 1400 Old Towne Road in West Ashley, immediately south of Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site.

The meeting, which was held in the cafeteria of Orange Grove Charter School, at 1225 Orange Branch Road in West Ashley, welcomed interested members of the public to weigh in on how the site will be used as CCPRC develops an interpretive master plan for Old Towne Creek County Park.

The interpretive master plan will develop historical themes that provide a framework for communicating the natural and cultural history of the park and surrounding area. Ultimately, the final plan will help enrich the visitor’s experience through signage, programming, demonstration areas and other means of engagement. Public input is an important element of the process and will help shape the plan’s development.

Work on the site has involved ecological and cultural studies and a recently completed master plan. Park development is anticipated to commence in mid-2020. A final interpretive master plan is anticipated to be completed in early 2020.

At the meeting, CCPRC staff provided a brief overview about the property and its recently completed master plan. The project consultants, The Design Minds (TDM), an interpretive design firm, provided insight into the interpretive master planning process.

The process is also guided by a steering committee composed of representatives from CCPRC, Historic Charleston Foundation, Charles Town Landing State Historic Site, Clemson Extension, College of Charleston, and persons with historical knowledge of West Ashley neighborhoods.

Old Towne Creek County Park was acquired by CCPRC in 2011 for use as a county park. Formerly known as “Ashem Farm,” the property was cleverly named by and for its previous owners Ashby Farrow and Emily Ravenel Farrow (who was affectionately known as “Miss Em”). Prior to her passing in 2011, Miss Em chose to conserve the majority of the property in perpetuity with a conservation easement held and monitored by Historic Charleston Foundation.

For those who could not attend the meeting, a questionnaire inviting public comments on the park’s interpretation is available online on the project website at through Nov. 15.

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