April 2012

April 2012: Drew Laughlin

Author: Drew Laughlin | Photographer: Photography by Anne

Discover Your Parks

What do Wi-Fi, a floating stone, and a 417-year-old Southern Red Cedar tree have in common? They can all be found at various town parks! Many Hilton Head Islanders drive up and down U.S. 278 turning right or left to grocery shop, visit a doctor, or eat at their favorite restaurant not knowing that they just passed opportunities to view beautiful marshes, read storyboards about island history, or pay homage to our military veterans.

A good way to learn about your parks is to go visit our town web page, hiltonheadislandsc.gov. Once there, click on “Our Island,” then “Parks and Amenities.” You then have the option of searching by park, facility type, or by amenity. For example, if you want to know where playgrounds are, just locate this on the amenity list, and you will see several parks listed that include playgrounds. If you’re looking for tennis courts, observation decks, etc., just click and learn.

Rather than simply list the multitude of amenities at your parks, allow me to offer some suggestions:

• Maybe your dog hasn’t told you, but he may be getting tired of walking the same old neighborhood. How about taking Fido to the dog park at Chaplin Community Park? Your dog will like the features there, and dog and owner may meet new friends.
• When is the last time you saw a tree that is thought to have been growing since about 1595? Go to the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn and you can see it yourself.
• Are you a birder, a painter, or a photographer looking for inspiration? Click on “Observation Decks” and find four different locations that offer varied scenes.
• I’ll bet 95 percent of you reading this haven’t been to Mitchelville Beach Park. Plenty of parking, an inviting walk/entrance to the beach, restroom facilities, and you’ll never see a crowd there. If you want peace and quiet, Mitchelville Beach Park is great, but so is neighboring Fish Haul Creek Park where you will find a picnic pavilion and a covered gazebo to shield you from the sun.
• Go to Compass Rose Park and see a 22,000-pound floating stone made of two solid pieces of granite, rotating not on a fixed point or mechanism; rather, it rotates on water alone! You can sit on it and rotate, and remember, it’s a functioning compass! How long has it been since you sat back and relaxed? Go to Coligny Beach Park, sit in one of the swings, and enjoy the breeze blowing off the beautiful Atlantic Ocean.

I haven’t scratched the surface, but you get the point; and by spending a few minutes on our web page, you can plan a few outings. See you out there!

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