By Pamela Brownstein
“Out with the old, in with the new” is a well known expression to describe change. But in Beaufort, “out with the old” doesn’t apply. Embracing the history that makes our area unique is part of the charm of our city, while the “old” parts of town are admired and preserved for everyone to enjoy. After just celebrating our 300th birthday, it’s clear our ties to the past remain strong.
The great thing about Beaufort, though, is an ability to fuse the old and new. New ideas on smart growth, new businesses, new residents: these all help our community improve and move forward.
It’s not always an easy task balancing old and new: there are many examples of towns that have rushed into new development and expanded too quickly and in doing so have lost their identity (hello, Bluffton). But Beaufort’s made efforts to focus on what’s important, especially the area’s history and natural beauty. Certainly, the city and the county’s policies are not perfect, but many of the projects that are now taking place and have been in the works for years — including the Bladen Street improvements and the long-awaited Beaufort Rail Trail — reflect a commitment to better infrastructure, the environment and healthy citizens.
Also, everywhere I look I see encouraging signs that business is back. Lowcountry Produce, Dockside, Stokes Used Cars, McDonald’s are just a few examples of building and expanding.
Recently, columnist Lanier Laney noted a new wave of 30-40 year olds on the social scene. These young business professionals bring fresh perspectives and energy: welcome additions to the vitality of the Lowcountry, as well as our local economy.
At The Island News, we constantly are thinking of ways to better serve our readers. That’s why we’re proud to partner with the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort to provide weekly columns and give a voice to the military community. We are also starting a new section called “Lowcountry Broil” that allows readers to sound off anonymously about pretty much anything on their minds (share your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org). And look for other interesting and thought-provoking new features in the months ahead.
We also recognize all the contributors who work hard to produce new material each week at the high quality our readers expect and rely on.
For me personally, I have been relishing all that comes with bringing a new human into the world. Everyday seems like a new discovery as my husband and I take on the role of new parents to an adorable baby boy. Watching him learn and grow (He’s smiling! He’s trying to roll over! Uh, oh, he’s crying! All in the matter of five minutes.) has given new meaning to my life. With that comes a feeling of responsibility to teach my son to respect the past while working to provide a better tomorrow.
Whether you’ve lived here for 30 years or 30 days, I hope you see and appreciate the area for what it was, and just as you watch the beauty of spring unfold, realize that now is the time to take part in all the exciting opportunities that are shaping the future of our community. It’s a new day for Beaufort.
By Pamela Brownstein