Category Projects

The SW+ Legacy: Wannamaker Park


Over the next few months, we will be sharing projects that have helped shaped our company over the past 30 years. These Legacy Projects will provide a behind-the-scenes perspective from the people who worked on them, and celebrate the impact we’ve made on the communities we serve.

The first Legacy Project our team has decided to feature is North Charleston Wannamaker County Park, the largest park in Charleston County Parks & Recreation’s system at 1,050 acres, and the first large scale park that SeamonWhiteside designed.

R:5572LDWG5572 Master Plan Phase III Overall MP (1)

Back in 1997, team members, Lee Gastley, Bill Eubanks and Steve Blackwell, combined their talents to develop and implement the park’s Master Plan. We caught up with Lee in the office earlier this week, and asked him for some insight into the Master Planning process. Lee had a few things to share:

– “In the process of laying out the two mile trail system, I ran across a mother alligator and her eight babies. They looked like little dinosaurs and the momma was NOT very happy to see me. I changed the route of the trail as a result of the meeting.”

– “While flagging the limits of the meadow one evening, I had a “casual” encounter with a bobcat. He looked at me and I at him and we both went on our merry ways. Pretty cool.”

– “The best part of designing a park like this is being able to provide the public access to nature in a manner that may not be typically available.” 

After the plans were drawn, design executed and animal encounters concluded, Charleston residents were presented with a vibrant new park to enjoy for many years to come. In 1997, SeamonWhiteside was fortunate to win an award from the South Carolina chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects for the park’s Master Planning. Go team! 

With nearly 1,050 acres of woodlands and wetlands, Wannamaker Park is a nature oriented facility designed for families and groups. The landscape includes 7.5 acres of grass meadows, picnic shelters, playgrounds, access to fishing and miles of paved trails for hiking, running and biking.

A couple of years after the park opened, the idea of adding a waterpark was discussed. SW+ was excited to help build on the success of the park with the planning and construction of Whirlin’ Waters, the county’s largest waterpark facility.

These days, visitors including many SeamonWhiteside employees continue to enjoy all of the activities the facility has to offer. Below are a few photos from the first days of the park’s opening. We love seeing generations of families enjoying the space! 

DSC_0104 DSC_0107 DSC_0151  TotLot1_08 whirlingWaters_mod

Third Year GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail Study Shows Recreation Projects Do Pay


All too often, municipal parks and recreation projects are viewed as nothing more than a non-revenue producing amenity for local residents; a point of view that the National Recreation and Park Association has long been working to change. A new study released this month by the Greenville Recreation District shows that the 14 mile Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail brought in $6.7 million to the Greenville area during the June 2013-2014 period. A healthy increase over the previous two years for both usage and economic impact.

DSC03061The report, completed by Furman University Associate Professor of Health Sciences, Dr. Julian Reed, tracked the impacts that the trail has had on economic, health and fitness, and real property values in along the Greenville – Traveler’s Rest corridor as well as the greater Greenville area. At least seven new businesses with a direct connection to trail users have opened along the route including restaurants, bike rentals, B&Bs, and grocery ‘corner store’ retailers.

SeamonWhiteside worked with the Greenville Recreation District to design and engineer the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail. The project completed in 2010 was constructed for $6.2 million. The three annual survey reports are available on the Greenville County Parks, Recreation and Tourism website.

SCDNR Choses SW+ Project as Low Impact Development Case Study


SeamonWhiteside has long been a proponent of smart ways to limit development impact on the environment. Our cooperative civil engineering and landscape architecture departments have successfully crafted practical, low impact development designs for numerous projects throughout the state and beyond. Recently, the SC Department of Natural Resources chose one of these projects,Local LID Case Study: Laurel Oak Grove, James Island, SC, as a case study illustrating LID techniques for use in their upcoming Low Impact Development in Coastal South Carolina workshops.

Local LID Case Study: Laurel Oak Grove, James Island, SC

Local LID Case Study: Laurel Oak Grove, James Island, SC

Congratulations! on a project well designed and executed are in order for the SW+ Laurel Oak Grove Project Team:

Jenny Palmer, PE, Civil Engineering
Russ Seamon, LEED AP, Land Planning | Urban Design
Bill Eubanks, FASLA, LEED AP, Land Planning | Urban Design
Kenny Seamon, PLA, Land Planning | Urban Design
Rusty Blake, PE, Construction Administration