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Column: Pride in city based on many aspects of life

Posted: April 12, 2018 3:45 p.m.
Updated: April 13, 2018 1:00 a.m.

The pride we feel for our city is based on many aspects of life. Chief among them -- loving people, generous businesses, dedicated community service organizations, and a city council and staff committed to making South Carolina’s “oldest inland city” the most beautiful in the state of South Carolina. Not a day goes by without someone complimenting Camden.

Our city arborist, public works, and Downtown Camden/Main Street SC staff recently completed the Town Green alley with a beautification grant from AARP. This Broad Street alley-way to our Town Green has new shade sails that look great and lights that invite pedestrian traffic through to the city’s central downtown event venue. Look for new events taking place on Town Green in the months ahead. Tuesday evening the 11th of April, we had a visiting photographer who commented, “That is just so cool. This is a sure sign that Camden is changing and welcoming everyone.  As a young professional, Camden began as an assignment, but it is definitely on my ‘return’ list.”

Adding to pedestrian comfort with an invitation to pause and enjoy the view, Leader’s Legacy benches continue to be placed in public areas. Camden was built on the contributions of many citizens, past and present, and the city continues to be shaped and molded by the contributions of our residents and benefactors who deserve to be recognized. Camden’s Leader’s Legacy Recognition Program provides an avenue for this recognition, while adding beauty and an opportunity for peaceful repose. Many thanks to Councilman Jeffrey Graham who initiated this program a few years back.

New trees are being planted throughout our historic touring districts. These include Red Maple, Chinese Elm, Black Gum, Chinese Ironwoods for fall color, and Dawn Redwoods – each adding to the lush palette of our urban forest. Spring and summer flowers are popping up all over town. It is just such a beautiful time to be enjoying our beautiful hometown.
Landscaping along Gordon and Campbell streets is nearing completion as we prepare to celebrate the official opening of our Tennis Center and Pickleball Plaza. Although we have already hosted local pickleball and USTA tennis tournaments at the center, grand opening ceremonies are next Thursday at 3:30 p.m. with a ribbon cutting, followed by refreshments and fun and games for the whole family. I look forward to seeing all of you there.

With all the beautification taking place in Camden, why would anyone want to be anywhere else? You may just want to plan your own “Camden Stay-cation” -- enjoy all the wonderful things you and your family can do right here at home.

To help you plan, visit www.classicallycarolina.com. You will discover information on where to eat, shop, stay and play in Camden. Recently, the city’s Tourism Department and Camden Archives and Museum staff published the official Camden Audio Tours phone app for both iPhones and Android smart phones. Visitors from all over the world, as well as each of you, will love to explore the charming, historic, and walkable city of Camden. By simply downloading the free CAMDEN TOUR application to a smartphone, real and “virtual” tourists can stroll and learn at their leisure. The phone app is free and can be downloaded from both the Google Play Store and the iTunes store.

Finally, you can enjoy learning more about our wonderful hometown by viewing our new “movie,” Camden --  The Place We Call Home™. Over the last several months, the Archives and Museum and City Tourism Office produced a short history video about our wonderful city.

I want to personally thank all of the people who make and have made Camden their home for the last five hundred years -- without you, there would be no story. People are living and visiting here, opening businesses, moving here and simply enjoying the idyllic southern city that we call home ... Camden, our home.

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