The $1.6 million boat landing near S.C. 22 and U.S. 17 is gearing up for its first full season this year, and boaters and visitors, should be prepared to see a little more than just a new boat landing in the area.
The 28-foot-wide, two-lane concrete boat landing, a project of Horry County Councilman Brent Schulz, opened midsummer last year.
Plans call for a picnic pavilion to be added to newly installed playground equipment near the boat landing. The planting of crape myrtles, Sabal palmettos and a fountain in a pond on the other side of U.S. 17 are in the works and should be added this spring or summer.
Horry County plans to plant 51 Arapaho crape myrtles and 25 Sabal palmettos at the start of the edge of the Tanger Outlet Mall on U.S. 17 and run past Kings Road to the exit ramp from the S.C. 22 and U.S. 17 interchange. A fountain, with a Phoenix spray pattern, will be installed in a pond near the trees. Currently the area is filled with grass and tangled weeds, which hides the pond.
This beautification project was the biggest that Keep Horry County Beautiful committee accepted last year to work on this year, said chairman Bo Ives. He said the improvements are very much needed.
“It’s a major gateway because a lot of visitors come in to our area out there,” Ives said. “The current area, the way it appears, the state maintains that area. Unfortunately, given their budget, they’re not cutting it frequently enough to really make it a nice greeting when you come in.”
Ives credited Schulz’ desire to improve the area with the palm trees and native plants.
“This was his brainchild and we adopted it as something we wanted to see in place,” Ives said.
Schulz was instrumental in getting the recently completed nearby $1.6 million boat landing built. He came up with the idea for the boat ramp and nearby park about five years ago after seeing a similar one in Kentucky. In September, he announced he would use $40,000 of his recreation fund money to install a 24-by-36-foot pavilion, which should be completed this summer.
Brent Taylor, director of parks and recreation for Horry County, said the county is still working to secure the pavilion.
“With the pavilion, we’re still trying to work out the purchase of it,” Taylor said. “Probably we’ll be able to work that out over the next month or so.”
Taylor said Wednesday’s 70-degree weather is a sure sign the landing will regain its popularity soon.
“I suspect that it’ll pick up now that the weather is warming up,” Taylor said.
“Most of our boat landings, especially on the waterway, are pretty crowded. I would suspect this will be the same.”
A third phase to the project includes trails and more under the S.C. 22 and U.S. 17 interchange.
Schulz said he thinks the boat landing has been put to good use since its opening last summer.
“I think it’s been utilized pretty well,” Schulz said. “We don’t have many parks in my district so I thought this would be a good way to solve that.”