New state park in the works for Lancaster County

Land that was originally slated for a 1,000-home development along Van Wyck Road in Lancaster is now set to become a new state park.

Photo courtesy of Open Space Institute

The Nisbet Family, Catawba Nation, South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism, and the Open Space Institute have collaborated to secure an option to purchase approximately 600 acres on the Catawba River in a rapidly developing region of Lancaster County.

Upon completion of the purchase, the land will become part of the South Carolina State Park Network.

“Our family has owned the property for over 100 years. Our father, William Oliver Nisbet, believed in family, fellowship, and community involvement,” said Caroline Nisbet Hewett. “We are proud and truly honored for the opportunity to continue Oliver Nisbet’s legacy by preserving this property for the use and enjoyment of generations to come. We are thankful to Open Space Institute for their assistance to help turn the land into a community space.”

The property, known as the Nisbet Tract, consists of one mile of frontage on the Catawba River in the heart of the Catawba Nation’s ancestral lands. The Catawba Nation has used clay from this site for over 6,000 years in the pottery which can be found both at The Smithsonian and The Louvre. A focus of the partnership is to ensure that the Nation has perpetual access to and co-management of the Nisbet clay pit.

The Open Space Institute intends to purchase the property by the end of 2023 and will hold title to the property until the State is prepared to accept the land as a donation.






6 responses to “New state park in the works for Lancaster County”

  1. Anne Fogleman

    Fantastic! What an asset for our area. Thanks to the Nisbet family, the Catawba Nation, and Open Space and all who put this together.

  2. Jen Tsonas

    This is a wonderful collaboration of people and organizations who realize the importance of preserving this land. Development and growth have their place but only when done responsibly. The NIsbets, the Catwabas, the SC Park department and the Open Space Institute have stepped in with a conscience. Their creation of a 600 acre park will enhance the area and protect so many natural resources.

    You have my greatest respect and gratitude!

  3. Daniele Chavanton

    Wonderful. So happy to see this happening.

  4. Nancy Morales


  5. Marilyn Tims

    So happy to see this coming to the area., very much needed.

  6. Josephine & Douglas Bleistein

    This is a wonderful idea. To preserve this space for a park with all the beauty is a great way for families to enjoy the outdoors. Thank you to the Nisbet’s and all who have helped to bring this to our area. We are looking forward to its development.

    Josephine Bleistein

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