LOWCOUNTRY CELEBRATION PARK A HILTON HEAD MUST-SEE
BY CARRIE HIRSCH | PHOTOS BY MATT GARBADE STORY AND PHOTOS COURTESY OF HILTON HEAD MONTHLY
Located on the south side of Pope Avenue between Circle Center Shopping Center and Coligny Beach parking lot, Lowcountry Celebration Park is a sought-after attraction.
The park includes a sprawling lawn, a small pavilion on a lake, a stage for events, walking trails, exercise stations, boardwalks and The Sandbox Children’s Museum.
It features a large reimagined Adventure Playground Ship, complete with mist cannons, named for the vessel captained by explorer William Hilton who discovered the island in 1663.
“The design of Lowcountry Celebration Park is a careful orchestration to address a number of community issues and needs in an effort to encourage reinvestment in the Coligny area,” said Town of Hilton Head Island project manager and urban designer Chris Darnell, PLA.
Darnell said the park’s lagoon is part of a stormwater drainage project that will reduce flooding upstream in and around Coligny Circle and Pope Avenue as well as downstream on Tanglewood Drive and Cordillo Parkway.
The parking spaces are pervious, which reduces stormwater runoff and, along with the planted wetland shelves in the lagoon, improves water quality, Darnell said.
The interactive water feature is an interpretation of the tides on the beach and in the marsh. Parents will find shaded seating options, Wi-Fi access throughout the park and charging stations for smart devices in the playground, he said.
“The Pavilion puts a new twist on Lowcountry architecture and is designed to host shows and concerts. Evening attractions include the unlighted “Setting Sun” sculpture and a fountain,” Darnell said.
Eugene Bell, AIA, LEED AP BD+C of the architectural firm Watson Tate Savory, said the buildings have their own unique character.
“While the buildings share a common materiality, each of them is conceived and executed in a different manner, giving each individual building its own character while simultaneously linking them all architecturally,” Bell said. “Rendered in weathered gray wood, Savannah gray brick and tabby stucco, their design is tied deeply to the aesthetic and character of the Town of Hilton Head.”
Bell said Watson Tate Savory worked with Kyle Theodore (project lead) and her team at Wood + Partners.
The Sandbox, a non-profit interactive children’s museum, is also an integral part of the new park.
The new building has a dedicated outdoor exhibit space, an art studio, and a separate program room, according to Nancy Fish, executive director of The Sandbox.
Fish said in addition to upgrading current exhibits, The Sandbox has new exhibits that “reflect the culture of the Lowcountry.”
Said Darnell: “The town is excited to have The Sandbox Museum as a partner to complement the play and discovery themes of the playground.”
Lowcountry Celebration Park will likely attract locals and visitors year-round, which will benefit businesses.
“We could not be more excited about the opening of Lowcountry Celebration Park. We are a family community, and this will bring so many fun options to locals as well as our visitors,” says Erika Waronsky, owner of The Sandbar Beach Eats and Carolina Coffee & Crumbs in Coligny Plaza.