PICKENS — A sensory rain garden will be coming to the The City of Pickens’ Doodle Park thanks to a $13,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation.
According to Becky Horace of The City of Pickens, the new Pickens Doodle Park, set to have its grand opening around Memorial Day 2018, is designed around five themes which include a downtown connector, active living, healthy living, remembering Pickens history and being environmentally friendly.
“This grant will focus on the environmentally friendly theme and aims to keep rain water on site while showcasing environmentally friendly practices that enhance the park facility,” Horace said.
Mayor David Owens said when it comes to the park, uniqueness is key.
“The City Council and City Staff are working tirelessly to ensure that the Pickens Doodle Park is one of a kind; one that can accommodate all needs,” Owens said. “It is grants like these that help to make our ideas and dreams a reality.”
The funds will be used to create a sensory rain garden for the Pickens Doodle Park, but … what exactly is a “rain garden?”
“A rain garden is a storm water feature which uses plants to allow rain water to soak back into the ground,” explained Horace. “The City wanted to provide a hands-on learning experience for the children and families who visit the Pickens Doodle Park, therefore the sensory rain garden will include elements which will enhance the five senses.”
The garden will be home to plants that a person can touch, taste, or smell. For example, a sensory pathway made of wood, stone, etc. to experience different textures under their feet, she said.
Outdoor musical wind chimes are being planned to cover the hearing sense and the park will feature other outdoor play elements and educational signage marking the different plants and how to interact with them.
“We value partnerships like this that show our communities the importance of environmental stewardship while creating hands-on exhibits to enhance those lessons,” said Emily DeRoberts, government and community relations manager for Duke Energy.
The Doodle Park has been possible thanks largely to the city leveraging several different state, federal and private grants to create the park, said Horace.
With the help of the South Carolina Recreational Trails Program Grant, South Carolina Department of Commerce Community Development Block Grant Program Grant, Appalachian Regional Commission Grant, EPA Brownfield Cleanup Grant, Pickens County Accommodations Tax Grant and the Duke Energy Foundation Grant, the park is set to open in May 2018, she said.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.