The Reedy River Wetlands Preserve opens at Unity Park
The eight-acre Reedy River Wetlands Preserve at Unity Park in Greenville, SC features ADA-accessible boardwalks, overlooks, and an outdoor classroom offering learning opportunities about its native plant and animal species.
What was once the site of the original path of the Reedy River is now home to the newest section of Unity Park: The Reedy River Wetlands Preserve.
A look back
At the preserve’s ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, May 17, Mayor Knox White alluded to the creek that flows through the preserve. The creek is actually the Reedy River’s original path. City engineers diverted the river to where it flows through Unity Park today in the 1930s.
The restoration process
Restorations on the eight acres of wetlands, located along the northern perimeter of Unity Park (think: behind The Commons parking lot), began ~11 months ago. Tasks to restore the wetlands included:
- Removing of invasive species
- Removing of wood-boring beetle-affected ash trees
- Planting 100+ native trees
- Planting 200+ native shrubs
Donations supporting the project’s completion include $1.25 million from BMW Manufacturing, a $500,000 grant from Duke Energy, and $100,000 from the C. Dan Joyner Family.
The preserve today
Today, the preserve serves not only as a home to native plant and animal species (like the Silky Dogwood and snapping turtles), but it’s also a classroom. Along the ADA-accessible boardwalks you’ll find informational signs on the preserve’s inhabitants that overlook different sections of the wetlands.
The Duke Energy Outdoor Classroom is located at the preserve’s center and serves as a space to educate on the wetlands’ environmental contributions. You can’t miss the classroom’s cover — a canopy of 72 pieces of wood and twisted steel created by The Heirloom Companies.
“These wetlands create a healthier river system, improve habitat, mitigates flood risk, and a beautiful scenic and educational amenity for our community,” said Mayor Knox White.
Access The Reedy River Wetlands Preserve from three different entrances from 5 a.m.-11 p.m.