Reedy River Falls Park and Gardens
Recently, I visited Greenville, South Carolina for the first time. It is a charming tourist destination with a tree-lined city center, interesting shops and galleries, an incredible number of restaurants, a summer-through-fall green market with a stunning array of produce, cheeses, meats, honey, etc. Yet to me, the most fascinating of all is the Reedy River Falls Park, the Swamp Rabbit Trail and the several other city parks.
The amazing thing is that the Reedy River Falls Park was initiated by the Foothill Carolina Garden Club. It certainly shows what a small group of citizens interested in history, environment and nature can accomplish. Starting in 1968 from six acres donated by Furman University and with the support of the city council, the Foothill Carolina Garden Club has beautified and restored an area now encompassing about 26 acres with nature trails, landscaped gardens, a pond, a land-bridge, the scenic falls, overlooks, a historic cottage, and a textile mill ruin.
The Park is on the National Register of Historic Places, and received the Founders Fund Award in 1975. The Foothill Carolina Garden Club received the Garden Club of America Historic Preservation Award in 1977. The Garden Club continues to guide and maintain the park and its gardens with the city.
The Falls Cottage and its gardens, located at the entrance to the park, was built in 1820 and originally restored in the 1970’s. It provides a lovely centerpiece for the park entrance.
The Park and Falls Cottage played an important role in the renaissance of Greenville’s South Main Street. The park path also connects to the Peace Center for Performing Arts.
If you should visit Greenville, South Carolina, I am sure you will find the Reedy River Falls Park a very pleasant experience.
Holly Sparrow. November 12, 2018