File photo, Summer 2020

The Anne Springs Close Greenway Adventure Center is the latest facility within the local nature preserve to receive a new name.

The Greenway recently installed signs with a name change at the Greenway’s epicenter for children’s programming and summer camps. The outdoor learning hub is now known as the Hampton Wildlife Fund Adventure Center, according to a press release.

The name change recognizes a $300,000 commitment to the Greenway from the Hampton Wildlife Fund, whose mission is to promote the education, research, management and the administration of wildlife in the Palmetto State.

The financial commitment supports the Greenway’s ongoing operations and endowment, as well as facility upgrades at the Adventure Center. Funds from the endowment assist in offsetting the Greenway’s annual financial loss and provide funding for the Leroy Springs & Company, Inc. (LSC) Bridge Program, a financial assistance program for area individuals and families whose circumstances may qualify them for free or reduced membership and program costs.

In 2011, the Greenway was gifted the John Deere facility located near the Bob Reid Field Trial Barn and renovated it into a space for youth recreation and education. The renamed Adventure Center has since transformed into a home base where thousands experience nature-based recreation and education programming through summer camps, scout groups and adult education opportunities; it has become one of the busiest facilities on the Greenway.

“This facility and the adjacent forests, ponds and trails of the Greenway offer a perfect opportunity to give children and adults alike the tools and resources to experience and appreciate the outdoors in the spirit of Harry Hampton’s connection with nature,” said Samantha Kowert, Advancement Director for the Anne Springs Close Greenway.

Jim Goller of Beaufort, the Fund’s executive director, said the naming is a culmination of many years of hard work led by Elliott Close and Tommy Hardwick Jr., both HWF board members, and aided by a large committee of tireless, dedicated volunteers of the HWF Fort Mill Conservation Banquet Committee.

A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on January 19th at 5:30pm at the Hampton Wildlife Fund Adventure Center (194 Adventure Road, Fort Mill)

Greg Rickabaugh

Greg "Ricky Bobby" Rickabaugh has lived in the Fort Mill and York County community since 2006. He has covered the area while a reporter for The Charlotte Observer and a freelance writer for The Fort Mill...