The Sans Souci Neighborhood Alliance (SSNA) has received a $10,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to help fund the development of a pocket park along the Swamp Rabbit Trail.
Located at the intersection of the SRT connector trail leading to the Sans Souci neighborhood (near Old Bleachery and South Franklin Roads), the Sans Souci pocket park will be a highly visible artistic stopping point for trail users.
The project is the brainchild of Sans Souci resident and environmental designer JD Harrison who initially wanted to install a uniquely designed bench where the Sans Souci connector trail meets the SRT. The bench was built with aid of funding from the United Way, Greenville County Redevelopment Authority, and the City of Greenville. As Harrison’s design came to life, he recognized the potential to create something far more unique: a sculptural mini park.
“I believe good design has the power to change how we live, how we see ourselves and how we engage the world,” Harrison opined.
“It can inspire, provoke thought, and ignite the senses. This project aims to do just that.”
His so-called “pocket” park consists of a bench, sculptural sunshades, an art wall and landscaping.
The first sunshade is currently under construction and project officials anticipate pouring concrete and installing the bench by year’s end. The remainder of buildout will occur in segments as funding is received with a goal of completing the project by the end of 2022.
The $10,000 Duke Energy Foundation grant is the largest donation received to date for the park and brings total project funding to just under half of what is needed. The SSNA continues to seek grants and private donations, as well as volunteers and material donations.
“We are thrilled to receive such a generous grant from the Duke Energy Foundation,” exclaimed SSNA President Rachel Rossman.
“It is exactly what we needed to kick this project into high gear. We hope that once the bench and sunshades are installed it will inspire additional donations to help us reach our goal of more sculptural sunshades and an art wall.”
The SSNA was one of 22 organizations in South Carolina that the Duke Energy Foundation funded for projects such as trail upkeep and maintenance; park beautification; and safety enhancements. These type of project needs have become more common as a result of increased usage during the pandemic.
Michael Callahan, Duke Energy’s South Carolina president said, “We think it’s important to work alongside our community partners to ensure these beautiful places around us can be enjoyed by nature lovers of all ages for years to come.”
The Sans Souci Neighborhood Alliance
The Sans Souci Neighborhood Alliance (SSNA) is a 501(c)3 charitable organization with a mission of supporting Sans Souci’s growth and revitalization through neighborhood action. Its purpose is to connect, promote, protect, and enhance this historic neighborhood and its residents. For information or to learn how to participate, email [email protected].