Dorchester County, S.C. - Dorchester County held a groundbreaking ceremony on March 9, 2023, to celebrate the Pine Trace Natural Area, a future 306-acre park located near Eugene Sires Elementary School. Community leaders and honored guests gathered together to mark the beginning of construction for the park.
The Pine Trace Natural Area will offer an extensive trail system throughout the mature mixed hardwood forest, bike and pedestrian connections, a 6-acre fishing pond, a fishing pier, an ADA kayak launch, shelters, a playground, a disc golf course, and dog parks.
Discussions for the project began in 2011 when the county purchased 306 acres with the vision of having a park on the site. During the next few years, the county began building the first Dorchester County Parks and Recreation Department to help formalize their plans and lead park projects. In 2019, the county secured funding for the construction of Pine Trace Natural Area as a result of the $38 million parks capital bond referendum. With funding in place, the county was able to move forward with the design and master planning.
The groundbreaking ceremony included a welcome address by Dorchester County Council Chairman Todd Friddle and remarks by Vice-Chairman David Chinnis, Councilman and Chairman of the Parks and Recreation Commission Jay Byars, and Parks and Recreation Director Austin Zuniga.
“Today is an especially poignant time as I recall walking this property over ten years ago when Council was deciding to purchase the land in the hopes that we could turn it into a park. I couldn’t be more excited that we’re here today to celebrate the start of construction. A little over a year from now those in my district and in the greater Dorchester community will have this space to enjoy the outdoors,” said Vice-Chairman David Chinnis.
The Pine Trace Natural Area is expected to be completed by mid-summer of 2024.