Issue Position: Environment

Issue Position

By:  Laurie Funderburk
Location: Unknown

One of the greatest challenges each generation faces is how to balance the needs of daily life against the demands of an unknown future. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the stewardship of natural resources. It's especially important to protect those elements of the environment that contribute to the economy of an area. Fortunately, Kershaw County has a rich natural heritage and a promising future.

The Wateree River has served residents of this area in many ways through the years. Always a source of water and fish for sustenance, the Wateree and its tributaries also provided a transportation route for travelers and goods, power or water for mills and industries, and recreational diversions for persons of all ages. As this region continues to grow, more demands will be placed on the river as competing users require more water. It is important that we are proactive in developing and implementing sustainable practices that will ensure an ample supply of fresh, safe water both now and in the future.

Recreation is an activity that nourishes both body and soul, and Kershaw County offers a wide range of choices. Forests abound for hunters. Lakes, ponds, and rivers provide a variety of opportunities for those who enjoy fishing, swimming, or boating. A canoe trip down Pine Tree Creek creates a magical experience that can't be captured in mere words. Goodale State Park, Historic Camden, Lake Wateree, the Savage Heritage Preserve, and the many privately and corporately owned tracts of land set in pines, preserved for pasture, or conserved for wildlife and hunting are critical to Kershaw County's ability to sustain a balance between the demands of modern life and our natural heritage.

Small farms and crossroads communities contribute to a much-desired rural ambiance that has been obliterated in other parts of the state. Many of these farms have been lovingly tended by generations of the same families. We face the challenge of developing ways to support those who strive to keep these farms productive in the face of mounting pressure to develop the land for other purposes.

In addition to its citizens, Kershaw County has many partners in the protection of its natural and historical areas. Among these are the South Carolina Heritage Trust; Ducks Unlimited; Palmetto Conservation Foundation; SC Dept. of Parks, Recreation & Tourism; and SC Dept. of Natural Resources. Obviously it is not only Kershaw County's citizens who recognize what a special place this is.

Looking into the future, I see promising opportunities for Kershaw County if we plan appropriately with the interests of the entire community in mind. Generations to come will appreciate our dedication to preserving for them the qualities of our home that we value now.

Thanks for reading this note. Now I hope you'll take a break from the computer, go outside, and enjoy the many wonders our County has to offer!