SUMMERVILLE, S.C. – In the world of real estate, success comes from location, location, location. The same can be said of Summerville’s avian tourism push. Much of the town’s activity links to its proximity to plentiful parks and world-class bird habitat, The National Audubon Society's Francis Beidler Forest.
The Town's newest campaign centers around what historically brought people to the town in the first place: its natural elements. Known as the "Flowertown in the Pines", people once believe Summerville's landscape had the power to fight disease.
Audubon South Carolina (ASC) has recognized the Town of Summerville as a climate-resilient and bird-friendly municipality. ACS’s new recognition program celebrates schools, businesses, communities and municipalities for their stewardship and commitment to the environment. Summerville is the first municipality in South Carolina to be awarded this designation.
ACS cited that one of the Town’s unique qualifications for the program included its Green Infrastructure Plan, which seeks to develop strategies to conserve or restore Summerville’s natural assets. The plan focuses on planting native species, protecting water quality, promoting habitat restoration and encouraging nature-based recreation and education.
“They are an ideal example of a town that takes extra steps in securing the cultural and natural importance of the environment for future generations,” stated Heather VanTassel, PhD, Program Manager for Sustainable Solutions at Audubon South Carolina.
“The Town is thrilled by this designation, especially since it was one of the goals included in our Green Infrastructure Plan. Being recognized as a climate-resilient and bird-friendly municipality allows us to expand upon our existing relationship with Audubon South Carolina and helps us continue our efforts to preserve, promote, and restore the Town’s natural assets,” said Jessi Shuler, Director of Planning.
During the qualification process it was also noted that the Town continually makes extra efforts to connect its residents and visitors to nature. The Town of Summerville is home to B.I.R.D.S., a major public art initiative created by the Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest, Sculpture in the South and Summerville D.R.E.A.M., that celebrates Summerville’s native bird species, its vibrant and historic downtown area, and Summerville’s growing reputation as a cultural arts destination.
The Southern Weekend recently shot a video highlighting Summerville's outdoor offerings: http://thesouthernweekend.com/
For more information about the Climate-Resilient and Bird-Friendly designation, please visit http://www.summervillesc.gov/audubondesignation.