LAKE CITY, SC (WMBF) - Just in time for spring and summer, Florence County celebrated the grand opening of a new park in Lake City on Friday afternoon.
"Anyone that has lived in Lake City has been ridiculed over Lake City being a city without a lake," Florence County Councilman Jason Spring, said.
Now, that saying is no longer true. From Florence County officials to Lake City residents, everyone came out to enjoy the new Lake City park.
"What we've done here is we took what use to be a pig sty and we turned it into blue skies," Springs said.
Springs said the area used to be a landfill and swamp back in the 1960s and 1970s. After, it was used for Lake City's public works storage facility, ultimately creating an eyesore for the community.
Over the past six years, the county has worked to excavate the swamp and use the field to help cover the landfill. The project cost a little over $4 million.
"This has been a very labor-intensive project. We were able to use special techniques as we dug out the swamp area, so we did not require a permit from the Corps of Engineers," Springs said.
Now Lake City residents and people from all over Florence County can enjoy an eight-acre lake, along with fishing docks, kayaking, swings, a picnic area with restrooms and more.
"We're right up the street so we'll be able to walk to the lake, bring our kayak, kayak in the water and run around the track, so we're excited," said Lake City resident Sandy Cook.
With Lake City constantly growing, Springs said the new park is another way to bring people together now that the city finally has a lake.
"Hopefully today, after we have it officially open, you'll start seeing a lot bigger crowds, a lot more people out here spending time," Springs said. "It just gives them a chance to get out and exercise, relieve some stress and just spend time with their family."
The park is just phase one. Spring said next, the county will work on improving Lion's Field near the park and add more water features.