Black River Pic

Fulfilling its potential - A long list of ideas being proposed will enhance the use of the Black River. Kingstree Town Manager Richard Treme said whatever happens will take a long-term commitment.

Photo by Michaele Duke

Protecting one of our most valued assets was discussed during Kingstree Town Council’s May 20, meeting. Main Street Project Director William Freeman presented council with some news about a partnership that will bring duck boxes to the Black River.

The town will partner with the South Carolina Waterfowl Association and the Black River Scenic Council, who have donated 50 duck boxes. The boxes will be installed beginning at Mill Street Landing and moving along a five to six mile stretch along its banks. Freeman said property owners would be asked to participate in allowing the boxes to be placed on their land. “We’ll start there and work or way down the river and up the river and see how far 50 wood duck boxes go,” said Freeman. “Our ducks need a place to lay eggs and be able to repopulate our area.”

The donation includes the box, predator guard and mounting post. The Black River winds its way along through Williamsburg County and draws fishermen for its abundant bounty of red breast, bream, catfish, and bass. In June 2001, a 75-mile segment of the Black River that includes Williamsburg County became South Carolina’s seventh and longest State Scenic River.

While the duck boxes will have an important impact on the town’s conservation efforts, the potential of the Black River has yet to be fully appreciated. However, Kingstree Town Manager Richard Treme said they are in negotiations with landowners to purchase parcels with the vision to develop its full potential. Ideas include a place to host public events, a boat dock, a walkway that would run from the Mill Street Landing to Gilland Park and a place to rent kayaks and canoes. Treme emphasized whatever they decide, it will be a long-term commitment, “But, number one, we want people to utilize the river, to know that the river is there.”

Freeman said they hope to begin installing the boxes in July or August. He said the Lions Club and volunteers from Camp Woodie will join the Waterfowl Association and the Black River Scenic Council for the installation process but he added volunteers are always welcome. Anyone interested in helping with the project can contact Freeman at (843) 455-5282.