Dorchester County holds groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate Pine Trace Natural Area

March 16, 2023

Dorchester County Government held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Pine Trace Natural Area on Thursday, March 9, 2023. Community leaders and honored guests gathered together to celebrate the future 306-acre park that will be located near Eugene Sires Elementary School (301 Chandler Creek Road).

Pine Trace Natural Area will feature an extensive trail system throughout the mature mixed hardwood forest, bike/pedestrian connections, a 6-acre fishing pond, fishing pier, ADA kayak launch, shelters, playground, disc golf course, and dog parks.

Discussions for this project began in 2011 when the County purchased 306 acres with the vision to have a park at the site someday. During the next few years, the county began building the first Dorchester County Parks and Recreation Department to help formalize their plans and lead park projects. In 2019, the county secured funding for the construction of Pine Trace Natural Area as a result of the $38 million parks capital bond referendum. With funding in place, the county was able to move forward with the design and master planning. This month, construction will begin for the new park.

The groundbreaking ceremony included a welcome address by Dorchester County Council Chairman Todd Friddle and remarks by Vice-Chairman David Chinnis, Councilman and Chairman of the Parks and Recreation Commission Jay Byars, and Parks and Recreation Director Austin Zuniga.

“Today is an especially poignant time as I recall walking this property over ten years ago when Council was deciding to purchase the land in the hopes that we could turn it into a park. I couldn’t be more excited that we’re here today to celebrate the start of construction. A little over a year from now those in my district and in the greater Dorchester community will have this space to enjoy the outdoors,” said Vice-Chairman David Chinnis.

Pine Trace Natural Area is expected to be completed by mid-summer of 2024.