by Kent Collins
I took a stroll on a bright, crisp afternoon this past fall. Not far from our home in Old Town Bluffton, I came across a “pocket park” tucked down a shaded oyster shell lane overlooking the May River. The park, no more that twenty-five feet square, offers several weathered wooden benches commemorating citizens who once lived here. A quiet, inviting place to enjoy the sight and sounds of the tidal water flowing below.
At the edge of the park’s bluff stands an unadorned plaque. On it, I discovered, is written “The Covenant for Bluffton,” the product of several town meetings held some years ago.
The Covenant for Bluffton
As citizens of Bluffton, South Carolina, we hold the following to be true:
That social, cultural and economic diversity and inclusiveness are the essence of our community;
That we bear responsibility for the stewardship of nature’s blessings entrusted to us in Bluffton and along the May River;
That freedom and civic duty work hand-in-hand to create a culture of individuality and a sense of community;
That our natural, physical and cultural history are worthy of our protection as trustees in order for us to embrace our future.
Acknowledging these truths, we aspire to the following goals:
To build upon our historic foundation a future that celebrates diversity, nurtures neighborliness and ensures a future of opportunity for generations to come;
To enhance the natural beauty and the quality of the May River and its watershed;
To protect the architectural heritage of Old Town Bluffton;
To enhance the canopy of trees and natural landscape throughout Bluffton;
To engage the creative human spirit and the arts within Bluffton;
To protect and enhance the oyster, shrimping, and fishing opportunities of the May River;
To provide housing opportunities for all citizens that are decent, affordable, and Bluffton beautiful.
To nurture a respect for each citizen.
Not bad!, I thought.
We moved to our old house in Bluffton to open a new page in our lives. What we embarked upon, we believe, is not just a new page, but a unique new chapter in a community that’s built upon time-tested principles.
Location of The Pocket Park in Bluffton, SC