Letters to the Editor

Letter | It takes a village to keep Surfside beautiful

Have you noticed the changes at the Surfside Pier area? How about that new parking and landscaping up-and-down Ocean Boulevard in Surfside Beach?

In 2012, the Town Council appointed several committees whose members have been working together to beautify Surfside Beach while making it “more user-friendly” for residents and visitors alike.

It is a challenge to create sustainable landscape improvements in high traffic areas without irrigation. The Keep Surfside Beach Beautiful Committee (KSBB) used the Pier Parking area to demonstrate the sustainability of self-watering hanging baskets.

Peggy Sattelmeyer and Lynda Peckham, both members of KSBB, created and hung four large baskets in the parking lot as a demonstration pilot project. “We were so pleased with how well they did! We are now dreaming of hanging baskets on all the new lamp posts that have been installed as part of the underground wiring projects on Ocean Blvd., N Seaside Dr., and Surfside Blvd.,” said Peggy.

Town Council recognized the value of these baskets based on the beauty and low maintenance requirement. But the excitement didn't stop there. “When I pulled into the parking lot, those beautiful baskets were the first thing I noticed,” said Curt Kremer, a local business owner. “What a contribution they make to the overall appearance of the area.” Curt and Sharon Kremer, proprietors of Pier Outfitters, Inc., have donated four additional hanging flower baskets to the Town of Surfside Beach. These baskets have been hung on the lamp posts on the ramp leading to the Surfside Pier.

Other KSSBBC projects include assisting business owners with a step-by-step plan for implementation of the new District Design Overlay, reviving the Yard of the Month award, identifying properties in need of maintenance, and writing grants that bring much-needed trees and natural resources into our town.

The Adopt-A-Beach program, part of Palmetto Pride of South Carolina, has operated this year as a part of KSBB as well. Ralph Magliette, a retired environmental engineer, has recruited volunteers and organized monthly beach sweep efforts that have significantly improved the cleanliness and appearance of our beaches.

“By far the number-one litter item we find is cigarette butts. Cigarette receptacles have been upgraded and installed at every beach access – yet many people just don't bother to use them,” said Ralph.

During the past year approximately 513 pounds of garbage were collected just from our beach accesses by Surfside Adopt -a -Beach volunteers. If you would like to donate a hanging basket or join in volunteer beach sweep efforts, or if you have a business and would like assistance with a step-by-step plan to bring your property into compliance with the district overlay, please contact Nancy Jo Weber, chairman, KSBB. Email: KSBB@sccoast.net.

The writer lives in Surfside Beach.