Gills Creek Greenway A Update 01/22/2018


Greenway Maintenance and Security Agreement We have been informed the maintenance and security agreement between the City and the County has been approved pending some minor changes. When this is finalized, work can begin on design of the greenway and a determination of the extent the available funds will finance. Representatives from GCWA continue to meet with the City, the County and the Penny Development Team.

Crowson Rd 319 Grant Stream Restoration Project The big news is that GCWA has received a 319 grant from DHEC to restore Gills Creek along Crowson Rd from Ft Jackson Blvd to Devine St and beyond. The 3 year grant provides funds to address nonpoint source pollution and improve water quality conditions through an 1800 foot stream restoration project that incorporates a riparian buffer enhancement and stormwater green infrastructure retrofits and BMPs. The City of Columbia has stepped up with matching funds and an agreement to maintain the stormwater improvements. GCWA is actively seeking additional funds to enhance and extend the project.

You will see construction in the area beginning this spring, but that is a City of Columbia sewer line upgrade! We have met with the City regarding this project to ensure planning coordination with the stream restoration plans.

Read more about the project...

Current Greenway Funding and Scope
County Council seems reluctant to reassign funds from any project designated in the referendum to another project even in the same category. In our case from Gills Creek Greenway B (Wildcat Creek adjacent to Kings Grant) to Gills Creek Greenway A. County Council has received a letter from Kings Grant stating the adamant opposition to a greenway. At this time, Gills Creek Greenway A funding will allow it to extend from Fort Jackson Blvd to Mikell Lane.

Liberty Tax/Title Max, Subway, and TitleLoan Property News
The Title Max property at 4624 Devine St which was bought by a local developer is still eligible for a buyout, but at the current post-flood value.

The status of the Subway and the TitleLoan buildings and property is unknown at this time.

Transportation Penny Advisory Committee Meeting (TPAC)
We attended the County's advisory committee meeting on Monday, November 27. There was a quorum with many of the new members attending. GCWA made a short public comment about the timeline of the greenway and the delays that have been encountered. We urged the members to contact their City and County council members to approve the maintenance and security agreement.

The January 22 TPAC meeting did not have a quorum.

There were reports from the CMRTA, the Office of Small Business Opportunities program, and the PDT at both meetings.

Gills Creek Greenway A

Gills Creek Greenway A Penny Project

The citizens of Richland County approved a penny increase in the sales tax to fund transportation improvements. A portion of those monies will be available for the development of greenways. Three locations along Gills Creek were identified as sites for greenway development including the area encompassed by our plan.

We believe a greenway could be a great asset to the community, as it has been for many others. We have been working with the Penny team to develop plans for the greenway, and have been seeking other funds to enhance the plan by improving the condition of the creek.

The Penny Team's web site is and you can contact them by email at

Goals and Objectives

The Gills Creek Watershed Association's mission is to restore and protect the watershed primarily by reducing the impacts of the urban environment. Our goals include:
  • Improve water quality in the Gills Creek Watershed
  • Reduce stormwater runoff and flooding
  • Develop access for pedestrian and paddling recreation
  • Better habitat in and along the creek for wildlife and aquatic life
  • Create a great place for people to connect with nature
  • Provide new educational opportunities for schools and the community
  • A signature place in Columbia; a center of community pride
By getting folks out enjoying the creek, we hope to increase appreciation for the creek and generate interest that will help us achieve our other goals.

On the north end, trail will nearly reach the Capital City Passage of the Palmetto Trail on Kilbourne Road. The plan that has been adopted, starts the greenway at Ft Jackson Blvd.

At the south end, current funding will likely allow construction of the greenway to the Mikell Lane area. GCWA is working to secure additional funds to extend the length.

In between there are numerous opportunities for walking, jogging, cycling and paddling trails, nature observation, fishing, and other outdoor activities.

And there is the opportunity to restore, retrofit, and the institute best management practices (BMPs) to reduce pollution, the impact of stormwater runoff, and flooding in developed and undeveloped areas.

A Richland County Conservation Grant allowed us to develop a master plan that was presented in November 2013.
View or download the Gills Creek Middle Watershed Master Plan as a pdf file.

City of Columbia Commercial Devine St/Fort Jackson Commercial Node Plan evaluated the area of Devine St, Crosshill Rd and Fort Jackson Blvd for land use and urban design, market conditions, transportation, utilities and green infrastructure, and to propose a conceptual plan including recommendations and implementation strategies for future development.
More information about the study is available at the city's Planning and Development web site.

The City also has a Walk-Bike Columbia web page which allows the user to identify places on a map where they want improvements for biking, walking, access to transit, or a bike share station in Columbia!

The current route of the Palmetto Conservation Foundation's Palmetto Trail runs along Kilbourne Rd across Gills Creek. Our trail would connect to Kilbourne just east of the creek.
More info is available at the Finish the Palmetto Trail web site.

Greenway Facts...

General benefits, economic benefits, health benefits, safety and environmental facts.

Greenway Examples...

Swamp Rabbit Trail, Falls Park on the Reedy, Little Sugar Creek, San Antonio River Walk

Middle Watershed Plan

A working group in the Gills Creek Watershed Association developed an aspirational plan to improve the urban area from Ft Jackson Blvd to Rosewood and to preserve the other relatively undeveloped stretches of Gills Creek from the Lake Katharine dam to Shop Road as a greenway and a blueway. Based on the ideas developed in the initial plan, Gills Creek Watershed Association received a grant from the Richland County Conservation Commission to complete a Master Plan for the Middle Gills Creek Watershed which extends from Kilbourne Road to Shop Road. Additional funding was provided by Edens. The final results of this project is a community endorsed Middle Watershed Plan with greenways, best management practices for handling stormwater, and identified stream restoration projects.

Please note that this project plan has been superseded by the Richland County Transportation Penny Gills Creek Greenway Section A project. Perhaps as the benefits of the Greenway A are realized, the expanded plan presented here can be implemented.

See the old plan which includes maps of the area...

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