FLORENCE – The Francis Marion Trail Commission (FMTC) has received The Honor Award from the South Carolina Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (SCASLA) and one from the Georgia Chapter (GASLA) for its strategic plan.
The FMTC’s Strategic Plan was recognized in both states as an outstanding project in the planning and analysis category which evaluates projects based on the following factors: (1) quality of analysis and planning; (2) functionality; (3) relationship to context; (4) environmental responsibilities; (5) opportunities for landscape architecture to have a significant impact on the environment and environmental decision-making; and (6) overall relevance to landscape architecture, the public and the environment.
“We are pleased and honored to receive recognition in South Carolina and Georgia as a leader in planning the preservation of Francis Marion’s trail,” said Robert C. Barrett, executive director of the Francis Marion Trail Commission. “It offers an excellent example of how historical preservation can contribute to the quality of life of our entire community.”
Six awards were given for an array of planning and design projects across the state this month at the Society’s Annual Meeting in Aiken. The Honor Award from the Georgia Chapter will be given at the Annual Conference and Awards Banquet on July 18.
The Jaeger Company, a landscape architecture and planning firm with offices in Gainesville and Athens, Georgia, assisted in creating the strategic plan, which is intended to guide the efforts of FMTC in bringing the history of General Francis Marion to life for the citizens as well as visitors to the Francis Marion Trail region.
Comprised of 10 counties in southeastern South Carolina, the FMT region includes approximately 95 sites associated with Marion, which were documented as part of the strategic plan.
The FMTC is guided by a board of directors, including: Mark Buyck III, chairman of the commission; Fred Carter, president of Francis Marion University; George Estes, director of the Heritage Tourism Development at the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism; Kitty Mescher from Berkeley County; Duane Shuler from Williamsburg County; and Col. (Ret.) George Summers from Clarendon County. Bob Barrett serves as executive director, providing support to the FMTC and several working committees of citizens throughout the region, all of which were involved in the development of the strategic plan.
The plan, which also included economic and marketing elements, accomplished the following:
· Created a list of priority sites associated with Francis Marion based on interpretive potential and importance
· Developed design concepts for priority sites and regional and local interpretive centers
· Developed a strategy for interpreting priority sites and a strategy for linking the sites to each other
The plan envisions four regional interpretive centers at gateway locations into the region – Florence, Manning, Georgetown and Moncks Corner – and a system of local interpretive centers, dispersed throughout the region. Centers will provide educational offerings such as interpretive exhibits and displays as well as passive recreational amenities in the form of nature trails, picnic areas and amphitheaters.
A system of linkages (to include designated scenic byways along existing roadways, bikeways, pedestrian networks, and canoe routes) was identified in the plan to connect regional and local interpretive centers and the Marion sites to one another. The plan also proposes a phased implementation approach based on costing data.