COMMUNITY HELPING HANDS

A stream side boost for Watershed Association

brantin@thestate.com (803) 771-8306June 22, 2014 

Gills Creek and Palmetto Paddlers volunteers clean and clear Gills Creek below Rosewood Drive during clean-up efforts last fall.

PROVIDED PHOTO

Gills Creek Watershed Association has received a $15,000 pledge from Edens development corporation.

The pledge will will be broken into $3,000 payments over five years and will support the association’s mission to restore and protect the Gills Creek watershed.

The watershed has two main forks, starting north of Sesquicentennial State Park and running through Forest Acres and Fort Jackson. The creek continues through Rosewood and crosses Bluff Road on its way to the Congaree River.

Edens develops, owns and operates retail centers in primary markets throughout the East Coast, including the Cross Hill Market development, which includes the Whole Foods strip mall that borders the Gills Creek watershed.

“The association is so grateful to have Edens as an active, long-term partner in the effort to reclaim Gills Creek as a community asset,” said Emily Jones, president of the Gills Creek Watershed board. “Since breaking ground at Cross Hill in January 2012, Edens has shared our mission and helped make it a reality.”

She said those efforts have ranged from incorporating rain gardens, which filter storm water runoff, to long-term planning for stream restoration.

“Columbia at large, as well as Gills Creek, is a great beneficiary of Edens’ core philosophy of bringing lasting value to local communities,” Jones said.

The Gills Creek Watershed Association is working on specific plans for stream restoration, storm water management, and a greenway and kayak/canoe launch along the creek adjacent to Cross Hill Market.

“The Gills Creek Master Plan has been an integral part of our vision for Cross Hill,”said Edens managing director Lyle Darnall. “What it adds to the community is immeasurable, whether through the ecosystem or as a future recreational amenity for the residents. Our goal is to see it continue to evolve and to grow the community’s symbiotic relationship with it,”

For more information on Gills Creek Watershed Association, call Erich Miarka at (803) 727-8326 or visit gillscreekwatershed.org.

Community foundation seeks nominations

Central Carolina Community Foundation is seeking nominations for its fifth Annual Best of Philanthropy Awards.

The foundation serves 11 Midlands counties by helping charitable individuals and businesses meet community needs. The annual awards recognize individuals and organizations that make significant contributions to the community.

“Every day, people in our community make a difference,” said Central Carolina Community Foundation president and chief executive officer JoAnn Turnquist. “Involvement and time are two of the greatest gifts we can offer our community. We want to recognize the people and businesses that are making a difference through these gifts.”

Nominations are being accepted in the individual or family, student or student group, local business, or group categories. They can be submitted online at yourfoundation.org.

The Best of Philanthropy Award winners will have $1,000 donations made in their names to the nonprofit organization of their choice in the foundation’s service area. All winners will be recognized at the foundation’s annual celebration in November.

The nomination deadline is June 30.

Students gather Shoes4Water

Students in Pleasant Hill Middle School’s partial immersion program collected 295 pairs of gently used shoes for the Shoes4Water organization.

Each year the Lexington 1 students organize a service project to learn about the linguistic and cultural diversity of other cultures.

Shoes4Water provides drinking water to remote villages by digging wells for people in Kenya. The organization sells donated shoes to exporters and recyclers for resale and materials. Profits are used to buy necessary supplies for clean water.

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