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The nonprofit Friends of Paris Mountain group on July 14 closed on a 160.4-acre parcel adjacent to the park’s southwest boundary to add much needed open space, said Stephen Gray, president of the Friends group. The $1 million price tag came from a variety of donors.

“This is an important moment because it is rare that we had the opportunity to purchase land already adjoining the park, and that this land will be added in perpetuity to the park for many future generations to enjoy,” Gray said. “We think it’s an amazing thing to happen.”

The Friends group came upon the opportunity about two years ago, Gray said. The forested parcel, which had been used as a family retreat for generations, gently climbs up to the edge of a ridge with scenic views of the park. The property contains streams.

Through a two-year fund-raising campaign called “More Park, More Play,” the group raised enough money to purchase the land from a local family.

“The South Carolina Conservation Bank was critical for making this happen and provided the largest share of funds toward the purchase,” Gray said. “Greenville has a great energy and giving attitude, and we received significant donations from local foundations and individuals who see the value, purpose and importance of an opportunity like this.”

The land transfer from the Friends group to the State Park must be approved by the Budget and Control Board, which should happen in September or October, Gaines said.

Text courtesy of The Greenville News


Paris Mountain State Park by the numbers

1 of 16 South Carolina State Parks built by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

1 monadnock – a mountain that rises up out of otherwise flat land.

15 miles of hiking and biking trails.

4 lakes: Lake Placid, Mountain Lake, Buckhorn Lake and Reservoir #3 (also known as North Lake)

1 swimming area that is open during summer months

39 paved campsites

5 trailside camping sites

6 picnic shelters available for rent for picnics and other group gatherings

1,700 acres of park land near downtown Greenville.

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