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News: Greenville Founders Fund Project Makes National News


March 23, 2018

Falls Park on the Reedy River, a project of the Carolina Foothills Garden Club, Greenville, South Carolina, and winner of a 1975 GCA Founders Fund prize, is showcased in this recent article appearing in The Washington Post.

The transformation of this downtown park has been the focus and passion of the Carolina Foothills club for more than fifty years. The club worked with the city and others to reclaim and acquire twenty-six acres of land, restore an historic building, clean up the river, remove a bridge concealing the falls, develop a master plan, and create a $3.6-million endowment to ensure that the character of the park endures.

“When our club members set out many years ago to protect the neglected land around the falls and create a park, they knew it was special,” observes President Anna Pressly.  “The inspiring twenty-acre public garden we have today is a shining example of civic improvement, land and water conservation, and public-private partnership. The success of our thriving downtown is a result of the revitalization of Falls Park, which attracts more than a million annual visitors. Delegations from cities around the world come to see what we’ve accomplished in this jewel of Greenville,” she adds.

Watch a video, below, made for the GCA’s 2013 centennial celebration, that tells the story of how this committed garden club and its community converted the polluted river into a vibrant gathering place.

The GCA’s Founders Fund Award was established in 1934 to provide monetary awards to projects proposed by GCA-member clubs. Since then, eighty-five Founders Fund winners and runners-up have received more than $1.5 million to save thousands of acres of land and innumerable trees, restore historic landmarks, establish civic plantings and conduct research and educational projects across the country. Projects are nominated annually by garden clubs that are members of the GCA. Individual members of all GCA clubs vote among three finalists selected by a committee of regional representatives. The 2018 winner and runners-up will be announced at the GCA’s annual meeting in late April.



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