For years, It’s been the dream of a small but dedicated group of Edisto volunteers to create a recreation area where young peopleand adults who live here could enjoy basketball courts, walking trails, softball fields, an indoor track, gym and pool.
For the love of youth and sports, the group created Edisto Island Youth Recreation (EIYR), an all-volunteer organization. In 2020 with help from Tom Austin of Edisto’s Open Land Trust, the group succeeded in purchasing 145 acres on Clark Road with a grant from the Charleston County Green Belt Program.
The EICRA got a real boost this spring when 10 energetic and talented Clemson Architecture students adopted the organization as their design project.
With the guidance of Professor Raymond Huff, the third-year students created three distinct concepts for the 145 acre complex off Clark Road. Their work began with workshops during which they gathered input from the community. They toured the island and the property and researched the history and culture of Edisto and the Sea Islands.
They presented the volunteer group with possible scenarios and gathered their comments and criticisms before creating their final renderings and models of a gym, ball fields, basketball court, hiking trails, a pool, and a library. Most importantly they explained how they envisioned the complex would be used by both the island and the beach communities of Edisto.
The project was then turned over to architects Brian Wurst and Thomas Jasper of the Charleston architectural firm LS3P. After meetings with EIYR volunteers, the two presented a site plan and a gym concept which are necessary in order to for permits to be granted.
The work of LS3P architects is part of the firm’s commitment to yearly in-kind services to the community and Charleston County citizen. The Charleston County Parks & Recreation Commission has pledged considerable resources to insure the first phase of the recreation complex would be completed once the permits are in place. CCPR Director of Planning & Development Patty Newshultz will oversee the work. Efforts are ongoing to secure state funding and meetings have been held with SC Senator Chip Campsen and Al Jenkins of Sen. Scott’s office. Meanwhile, young people from Edisto Island and the surrounding communities continue to participate in the EIYR sports programs. Through the generosity of area churches, organizations and individuals EIYR conducts programs in gymnastics, softball, baseball, track, basketball and cheerleading. There is never any charge to the young people. We are currently working on obtaining the necessary permits and hope to break ground soon! If you would like to learn more about the Edisto Island Community Recreation Area please call Geno Middleton at 843-209-3001, Jack DiLuna 843-345-0533, or Claudette Alexander 843-817-4747.