On this Earth Day, 2009, I thought it would be nice to take a sandwich down to my new favorite lunch spot and contemplate nature with the sounds of the Middle Tyger flowing in the background. This is twice this week I’ve been out here, and I think I came down here at least twice last week. It’s a perfect getaway.
The spot is perfect because it’s very close to my office, actually within walking distance. It has the sound of water, from water flowing over the dam upstream, to water flowing over the little rapids below. And it has WiFi from the Middle Tyger branch of the Spartanburg County Library. I can have a peaceful place for lunch AND stay connected. Shoot, I might even set up shop for the day, if I need a quiet place to get some work done.
On this particular lunch outing I had a chance encounter with Dennis Lindey, who had dropped by the park just as I was leaving. The very first words out of his mouth were to ask what I was doing out of school on the middle of the day. This took me aback. Did he know I worked for the school district? It turns out that he was just starting up a conversation. The next question was to ask where I was from, since I didn’t sound like I grew up in the area. I get that all the time.
After the preliminary banter and introductions, though, I did get some great information from Mr. Lindey. It turns out that he was instrumental in getting the project started to place the pedestrian bridge across the Middle Tyger, and in pursuing the grant from the Mary Black Foundation to fund the project. Mr. Lindey told me that there would be a dedication ceremony for the bridge at 11:00 am this Saturday as part of the Lymanfest activities. The Byrnes High track team will be the first to cross the bridge when it officially opens at that time.
Mr. Lindey also filled me in on some other tidbits about the area. I was aware that there is a large water treatment plant just downstream and across the river. According to him, this area was used for raw sewage treatment until DHEC made them change about thirty years ago. If that was the case, then I can’t imagine the stench that must have lingered on the banks of the Tyger.
Regardless of past unseemly history, the area is now a delight, with the park benches and landscaping. Mr. Lindey said that plans are underway to develop an old access road on the opposite side of the river, and that there might be access to the river for canoes and kayaks. I guess we’ll see. Even so, it seemed appropriate to spend an Earth Day lunch in an area that has undergone such improvement.