Comprehensive Plans

Parks For Tomorrow

View the Parks, Recreation, Open Space, & Trails Master Plan Executive Summary (PDF)

View the full Parks, Recreation, Open Space & Trails Master Plan

In February 2012, we engaged the services of a team of consultants with national and local recreation planning experience to assist in developing a master plan guided by a staff project team. The consultant team, led by Colorado-based GreenPlay LLC, made recommendations for our existing parks, trails, recently acquired undeveloped lands, recreation facilities and services. A comprehensive needs assessment gap and level of service analysis were performed to identify needs. New opportunities were identified through research, site assessments, and a comprehensive public engagement process. The consultant team also reviewed current recreation industry trends and demographic trends to identify opportunities for improving or expanding facilities and services. 

Based on the public and stakeholder input received throughout the planning process, the following guiding principles were identified to provide a framework for parks and recreation within our agency: 

  • Parks and recreation opportunities are provided to promote healthy active lifestyles and connect people to nature. 
  • Management and protection of historically or culturally significant resources, land acquisition and environmental stewardship are core services. 
  • Engage the community in planning decisions. 
  • Environmental, social, and financial sustainability guides planning and operations. 
  • Provide park facilities within a 15-minute drive time or less to every resident. 
  • Priorities include providing recreation programs and services for all age groups; connectivity and development of hiking/biking trails and greenways; more water and beach access; improve or expand existing park facilities; and develop new parks on recently acquired lands.

People 2 Parks

View People 2 Parks Plan (PDF)

We are proud to share the “People 2 Parks” Plan, our countywide bike and pedestrian plan. If implemented, the proposed projects would provide the following:

  • Connections from neighborhoods to parks
  • Connections from schools to parks
  • Connections from parks toparks
  • A minimum of two “spine” greenways — one north-south, one east-west — to which future trail projects can be connected
  • A network of trails among existing infrastructure providing a “road map” for future bike and pedestrian improvement projects

The plan is broken out into five separate phases, with Phase One including east-west and north-south spines concentrated in the most populous parts of Charleston County. Phases Two to Phase Five extend outward from Phase One as “tangent” and “spur” routes to communities throughout the county.

The countywide trails plan has been a collaborative effort between CCPRC, Charleston County, Charleston Moves, and the various local, state, and regional stakeholders listed below. The public input portion of the plan received over 3,000 responses, with the vast majority of respondents in favor of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvements. Alta Planning, CCPRC’s consultants on the project, integrated objective-design considerations such as existing right of way, proximity to green space and schools, etc., per Charleston County’s standard design criteria, with extensive public feedback to prioritize the planned routes. A steering committee comprised of the City of Charleston, the City of North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Charleston County, SCDOT, BCD COG, and Charleston Moves determined that the two spines would be critical for stitching together communities throughout our region.

Coordinating Partners & Steering Committee 

This list does not intentionally exclude certain entities, but reflects which parties were able to meet the times/dates of coordination meetings.

  • Town of Awendaw
  • City of Charleston*
  • Town of Hollywood
  • Town of James Island
  • Town of Mount Pleasant*
  • City of North Charleston*
  • Town of Ravenel
  • Town of Summerville
  • Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments*
  • Charleston County Transportation Development*
  • SC Department of Natural Resources
  • SC Department of Transportation*
  • US Forest Service
  • SC Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism
Land Trusts/Non-Profits
  • Charleston Moves*
  • Ducks Unlimited
  • East Cooper Land Trust
  • Edisto Island Open Land Trust
  • Lowcountry Open Land Trust
  • The Nature Conservancy
*Steering Committee Member