Henry’s Nature Center unveiled at Saluda Commissioner’s Meeting
Published 1:02 pm Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Upcoming park will be tribute to nature enthusiast
SALUDA- At the Saluda Board of Commissioners meeting held at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, July 10, a presentation was given regarding the opening of Henry’s Nature Center.
Gerard Prendergast of the Saluda Community Land Trust (SCLT) opened the unveiling saying “This is one of those projects that benefits the entire community. It will have a real positive impact on the community”.
A project of SCLT and Henderson County Extension Master Gardeners, Pendergast hopes it will teach visitors “to be stewards of the land”, and plans for the park to be a gathering place for students, not just from Saluda, but from other areas, as well.
“The longer range vision of this project is the rail to trail. You can’t just have a bike trail, you need to have something historical and artistic that will make people leave the trail and explore it.” explained Prendergast. “Find a reason to get people off the trail and explore the city”.
SCLT’s goal is to inspire present and future generations to enjoy, protect and live in harmony with nature by exploring trails, homestead gardens, and native plants, shrubs and trees. The grounds for the Nature Center have several springs, a creek, a beautiful ridge, and an abundance of native foliage.
Jim Byer, another SCLT Board Member that’s been involved in the Nature Center since its conception, explained that the park will be named for Henry Robinson Cart.
Cart loved nature and spent his summers in Saluda. After passing away at only 17 years of age due to a car accident, Cart’s family wanted a place where people could go to appreciate nature in his memory. The family designed, funded and coordinated the construction of a pavilion on the grounds in 2022 that features a statue of Henry.
SCLT did not formally request any funds from the Board for the upcoming park. However, they did address what still needed to be done, including the repair of stone walls and steps, and money for more plants, educational kiosks and signs.
“Henry’s nature center is a specific area where people can go and sit and enjoy the outdoors,” said Byer.
SCLT plans to apply for a grant to research costs to acquire a site plan, and hopes to have the park up and running “in one or two years”.
Henry’s Nature Center will be located at 9214 Spartanburg Hwy in Saluda.