By Peggy Allard, Co-Chair of Friends of Crystal Lake Committee
The Friends of Crystal Lake took part in the Beaufort county planning charrette held for Lady’s Island in the first part of December. During the three-day event the Friends of Crystal Lake had a display of various views of the lake, the mission of the Crystal Lake committee, conceptual designs for development of the 25 acre lake property, and comment cards for visitors to share their thoughts and recommendations for uses of the park. We received a wide range of ideas for a secure safe environment including accessible trails, a dog park, picnic areas, children’s playground, connectivity with schools and neighborhoods, native species gardens, viewing platforms, interpretive center, kayaking and environmental education.
One of the unique tasks of this committee is to determine the feasibility of developing a public/private venture for the operation and maintenance of the park. There is a facility on the property, formerly owned by Butler Marine, that the county could, through a competitive bidding process, grant a business the ability to operate out of this building in return for assistance in the maintenance and operation of the park. As part of the plan for the county, the most the committee can do is determine if there is an interest in the business community for this venture. Naturally, Beaufort county would make the decision to further investigate the subject and if deemed appropriate issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) from interested parties.
The present mission of the committee is to create a conceptual plan for the development of a Crystal Lake Park and submit it to Beaufort county for consideration by March 1, 2012. The January meetings of the Friends of Crystal Lake committee are scheduled for 10 a.m on January 16, and January 30, in the conference room of the Lady’s Island Airport. These meetings are open to the public.
You can share your thoughts and recommendations for the best uses of Crystal Lake Park by visiting the LIBPA website (www.LIBPA.org) and participating in the Crystal Lake survey.