Updated: Jan 27
It has been a year or more of ups and downs at the Nesbitt Shoals Nature Park. At the beginning of the COVID-19 shutdowns, the Park was well used and enjoyed by visitors. However, with fewer options for social gatherings, some decided to access the Park after hours leaving beer cans and litter strewn about the riverside. After too many after-hours parties with sometimes over 100 gatherers, the Tyger River Foundation was forced to close the park.
For the past year or so, the Tyger River Foundation and volunteers have regularly cleaned up debris and litter -- evidence of continuing abuse. Trespassers have left hundreds of alcoholic beverage containers, fire pits and in some cases, they have burned and vandalized park signs and picnic benches. Still, the Park is well-loved and most folks simply want to see the gates open again.
In its current state, the Park is a beautiful 10.6 acre natural space. It hosts a diversity of wildlife and plant species. Its 0.6 miles of trails offer a mostly leisure pace to enjoy the topography and well-placed benches offer opportunities for enjoying the river's serenity. The Tyger River Foundation remained committed to getting the Park ready once more for public enjoyment.
In September, the Foundation announced it would host a series of clean-up days as sought out volunteers to help. On Saturday, September 18 at 9 am, Lawson Revan met over 20 volunteer participants to begin cleaning up the park. Long time and new volunteers joined an impressive turnout from Jack and Jill of America - Spartanburg Chapter. Volunteers pruned and cleaned the trail, picked up litter, cut up fallen trees, groomed and relined the trails, removed dangerous rope swings, blew leaves off the parking lot, and gave the entrance a thorough trimming and weeding.
The Tyger River Foundation Board of Directors met once more a few weekends later to take care of a few loose ends and at the most recent meeting of the Board of Directors set a re-opening date. Board Members have reached out to the local Sheriff's Office and Department of Natural Resources officials to let them know the park is to be reopened. With help from these agencies and you, the Tyger River Foundation is eager to announce that the park will re-open!
The Nesbitt Shoals Nature Center will re-open on Saturday October 9, 2021. Park hours are sunrise to sunset. Join the Facebook Group Friends of Nesbitt Shoals Nature Park to be a part of the community of folks who love the park. The new group is a great place to share photos, findings and conversation with fellow park visitors.