While We Live, We Serve: PC Community, Laurens County Team Up for Renovations on Calvert Park


Mitchell Mercer

Volunteers help out with Calvert Park.

Mitchell Mercer, Editor-in-Chief

Calvert Park has been a staple in the neighborhoods surrounding Presbyterian College for several years where families with children can hang out and enjoy the surroundings of nature.

Recently, with help from various PC organizations and the Laurens County Parks and Recreation Department, the park has undergone a massive makeover.

Students from PC’s NAACP chapter, Blue Hose athletic teams, and other groups partnered up with members of the Laurens County community to help build a playground on the current Calvert Park on the morning of January 14th. The service project involved various playground equipment being built on the site to add excitement for children and grandchildren visiting Calvert in the near future.

“We want it to be a place for everyone to enjoy. The neighborhood in particular has a lot of older people, but they have grandchildren and want them to have a place for them to play. As those people age out, there have also been younger couples that have started to move in. There really wasn’t a place for those kids to play close by, so it’s nice for the younger generation to have a park for their kids to play at,” Andy Howard, a worker for the Laurens County Parks and Recreation Department said.

For PC students like Kennedy Elise Perry, she was inspired to get involved with the project after learning about the importance of safe surroundings in communities in one of her classes last semester.

“Our advisor Dr. [Ben] Bailey teaches a class called Environmental Policy that I was in last semester. It inspired me to believe that change can occur in our community by enhancing and growing our physical surroundings. The youth must have healthy spaces to connect and grow,” Perry said.

Several park projects like Calvert have been under study throughout Laurens County for the past several months.

According to Perry and Howard, the county was able to get the appropriate funding to help make the project happen, most notably with the implementation of a one cent, sales tax initiative, in which profits to help start the project would grow overtime.

Additionally, the tax will also fund other park projects throughout Laurens County in areas such as Fountain Inn and Waterloo.

Andy Howard, a worker from the Laurens County Parks and Recreation department, speaks to volunteers. (Mitchell Mercer)

“We have 25 parks total in the county and we want to have them up to standard for the kids to play on and for the parents to enjoy,” Howard said.

Diane B. Anderson, who serves on Laurens County Council and represents part of Clinton, felt that it was important to not only vote in favor of the project, but to also give back to the community through volunteering. 

“I believe in service and I believe in giving back your time because eventually, you’re going to be receiving some of the services. I just like to participate and do whatever I can as much as I can. I think when we do that, we’re honoring our service as well as our community,” Anderson said. “Anytime there’s a project occurring in any portion of the county, everybody should participate because we are all a team and a team makes up many parts. When we help each other, we grow from each other, learn from each other, and establish relationships.”

With the project helping establish a key line of activity throughout both Presbyterian College and the City of Clinton, for students like Perry, she hopes that this is the beginning of greater things to come in the county.

“We hope to look at different low-income communities in both Clinton and Laurens County and help create spaces for the youth to flourish and have positive areas to grow and commune. The PC community must support projects like this because our community makes us who we are. The stronger and more united we are, the better we grow as individuals and in society. Giving to others makes us appreciate what we have but also what we wish for others to enjoy and dwell. The projects also make our inner PC community grow and fellowship,” Perry said.

For Anderson, it’s all about making visitors to both Clinton and Laurens County feel welcome, especially when visiting Presbyterian College, and for them to bike, walk, or play at the park.

“It’s such a close distance to Presbyterian College and anytime people are visiting that area, they can walk down the street and use the [playground] equipment here. Anytime anyone comes into our city, we want them to feel that they are citizens while they are here and enjoy what we have to provide and take advantage of,” Anderson said.