Aiken outdoor trail reopens despite rain

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News 12 at 11 o'clock / Sunday, July 14, 2013

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW) -- Fifteen days straight of rain pounding our area hasn't been easy on several streets and landmarks.

The rain causing several major roads to shut down also threatened one local project.

"I've been working on the citywide arboretum project for many years with the city," said Robert McCartney, co-owner of the Woodlander Nursery.

Thirty years, to be exact, is how long Bob McCartney has been working with the City of Aiken.

A bona fide tree lover, McCartney jumped at the opportunity to help create Aiken's Arboretum Trail all those years ago.

"That's when we started planting new and interesting and rare trees for the city," he explained.

More recently, the city decided to upgrade the trail.

"About a year and a half, maybe two years that we've been working on this and sort of bringing it up to today's standards, we've automated the trail," said Glenn Parker, director of Parks, Recreation and Tourism for the City of Aiken.

But those two years of hard work threatened to go down the drain as this summer's active rain season created road blocks for the project.

"We've had a couple of losses from trees that are from very dry climate areas that didn't like this much water," McCartney said.

"We didn't put all of the signs in until last Friday because of all the rain," Parker said.

On Sunday, folks came together despite the continued rain to celebrate the reopening of the updated trail, an outdoor hangout that's managed to survive the recent constant downpour.

"We're going on! Rain or shine!" Parker said.

"I think it's important to make more citizens aware of what we have here," McCartney said.

To enjoy the interactive trail, just call (803) 295-5008.

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