City of Aiken begins preservation of parkway between Newberry and Laurens St.

AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – Aiken is known for its unique medians, throughout the city, but for years they’ve been ignored.

City leaders feel the parkways are underutilized, but by the first day of summer people will be able to enjoy more than just lunch there.

The trees and bushes, on the parkway between Newberry and Laurens St., were long overdue for a trim. Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon says the pilot project is the city’s way of preserving the unique layout, by making the parkways a destination.

“People enjoy coming to our downtown area and this is just another way that we can expand that,” Osbon told WJBF NewsChannel 6.

Cleaning up the parkway is only the beginning.

Through private-public partnerships the city hopes to add lighting to the area, a playground and even a bocce ball court.

“I don’t play bocce, but that sounds like a great idea.” Phillip Georger, a resident of the city of Aiken, said.

The designated tree city isn’t stopping there.

“Some of these trees are actually given in memory of loves ones, of individuals.” Osbon said. “We want to recognize that. Put plaques on them.”

For the first time in years, sunlight finally came through the trees, and the visibility on the road improved with the removal of the bushes.

Aiken residents say they can’t wait take walk through this piece of history.

“I love it! Aiken is a great town and it doesn’t surprise me,” said Aiken resident Pepper. “They just keep keeping it beautiful.”

“The parkways are such a treasure in Aiken,” said Osbon.

Mayor Osbon says the city hopes to finish this project by Memorial Day.

Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story. 

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