Duke Energy, Pee Dee Land Trust partner to create launch point on Black Creek
Grand Provides for much needed water access
Florence, S.C. – July 13, 2022 -- Paddlers can soon enjoy easy access to Black Creek thanks to a grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to the Pee Dee Land Trust (PDLT). The $25,000 grant is designated for the construction of a non-motorized boat launch, an observation deck, educational and safety signage, extension of the walking trail and enhancement to the entrance and parking area on PDLT’s 50-acre Mozingo Preserve along Black Creek in Darlington County.
"There is no better way to truly appreciate the beauty of our region than to paddle the waterways of the Pee Dee. Unfortunately significant stretches of our rivers and creeks are not easily accessible,” remarked Lyles Cooper, executive director, Pee Dee Land Trust. “We’re grateful to Duke Energy for their gift that will give residents a new way to safely enjoy Black Creek and inspire the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts.”
Mozingo Preserve, located off Old Society Hill Road just outside of the town of Darlington, was donated in 1999 via The Nature Conservancy to Black Creek Land Trust. The Mozingo family donated the property with the intent for it to be forever held as a nature preserve. The 50-acre preserve is located midway between public launch sites at Kalmia Gardens and Highway 327, in a stretch of 27.5 miles that currently offers no safely accessible public access. Black Creek Land Trust conveyed Mozingo Preserve to Pee Dee Land Trust in 2014 as part of the organizational merger.
“It’s important to work alongside our community partners to ensure all of the beautiful places across our state can be enjoyed for years to come,” said Mindy Taylor, government and community relations manager for Duke Energy. “The team at Pee Dee Land Trust are great stewards of natural assets like Mozingo Preserve. Helping them improve access to the Black Creek helps promote exploration of nature for South Carolinians of all ages.”
The enhancements to Mozingo Preserve are planned to be completed in the fall and PDLT plans to host an official public reopening of the property on October 18 at 4 p.m. Sign up to receive PDLT’s e-newsletter on the website (www.peedeelandtrust.org) to get updates and details for the ribbon cutting celebration, followed by a paddle on Black Creek between PDLT protected properties.
About Pee Dee Land Trust
Pee Dee Land Trust focuses on the Pee Dee watershed, which covers nine+ counties of the Pee Dee watershed in South Carolina: Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Marion, Marlboro, and Williamsburg. Its mission is to protect, and to promote an appreciation of, the significant natural, agricultural, and historical resources of the Pee Dee Watershed through voluntary land conservation and educational programs. PDLT has a toolbox full of options to help landowners who are interested in conservation such as accepting donations of land or conservation easements. There are endless options of ways to support PDLT as an individual or as an organization, including annual Membership, event sponsorship, hosting experiences, donations to one of the endowments, land donations and planned estate giving opportunities.
With its 90th conservation project to date, PDLT has now protected over 36,800 acres in the Pee Dee Watershed. While remaining in private ownership, the lands protected through conservation easements held by PDLT ensure that special places will be available for farming, forestry, and recreation for future generations. Through the use of permanent agreements, PDLT and landowners work as partners to ensure that land use activities on private property are limited in order to preserve key conservation values which benefit the public. These values include open space such as rural scenic views along roads and rivers, habitat for wildlife including game and non-game species, and the protection of farm and forest land to ensure it remains in farming and forestry rather than being converted to other uses.
The Greater Pee Dee Watershed is the second largest watershed on the east coast of the USA. PDLT focuses on protecting significant resources from the sandhills along the North Carolina border, all the way down to the Winyah Bay. Current priority focus areas for PDLT include the Black, Waccamaw, Sampit, Pee Dee, Little Pee Dee, and Lynches Rivers, along with major tributaries including Black Mingo, Black Creek, Thompson Creek, Three Creeks. Our overall goal is connecting protected properties to create and grow blueways and greenways throughout our watershed.