City of West Columbia Awarded 2021 South Carolina Community Development Association Award of Excellence

Pictured (Left to Right): Director of Economic Development BJ Unthank, Mayor Tem Miles, Director of Grants and Special Projects Tara Greenwood, and South Carolina Community Development Association Representative Sara Snell

The City of West Columbia was recently awarded the 2021 South Carolina Community Development Association (SCCDA) Award of Excellence for the River District Redevelopment Project. The SCCDA award is given annually to quality community development projects and outstanding individuals in community development. The project must have significantly improved the community and served as a catalyst for further improvements to the area’s quality of life and is voted on annually by the members of the SCCDA.

The River District Redevelopment Project and plans included promoting redevelopment, alleviating parking challenges, growing green space, and providing connectivity in the highly visited River District. The River District offers a variety of activities including shopping, dining, and the Riverwalk and amphitheater. The need for more public parking, public art, parks/green space, and connectivity was identified. 

To gain more parks and green space, Carraway Park – A playground for children and adults of all abilities to gather and play together, was expanded. The Interactive Art Park was also constructed providing an ADA pathway throughout the park. It houses art sculptures created by South Carolina artists, an artisan market, and vendor areas for local artists.

Both parks, along with the Brookland Development project, have additional public parking. Another goal was to provide connectivity throughout the River District and to connect to other places nearby. The B Avenue Bike Lane connects State Street in the River District to the Community Center and on to Triangle City. All these goals were attainable due to hard work throughout the city and its community partners.

Mayor Tem Miles stated, “The River District has been the hub of the economic development and revitalization of the city over the last several years. I am honored that our staff has been recognized for their hard work in this area by receiving this award.”

The SC Community Development Association provides a forum for learning about the community development process. Its members include municipal, county, regional, and state community development professionals; employees of private companies with an interest in community development; elected officials, and volunteers.