Anne Springs Close Greenway just opened its new welcome center, named the Greenway Gateway to serve as a hub for activities at the 2,100-acre nature preserve and outdoor recreation site.  

The 6,300-square-foot facility provides a “front door” that will welcome first time visitors and returning guests alike, and is located at the Greenway’s main entrance off of US Highway 21 Bypass at Lake Haigler Drive in Fort Mill, SC.

The Gateway is located near the Greenway’s Nature Center, adjacent to existing peach orchards and the historic Nation Ford Trail. It is a short hike to the 28-acre Lake Haigler and its Scoville Fishing Dock and kayak launch, the Bruce Rush Pavilion, and the iconic swinging bridge across Steele Creek.

photos courtesy of the Rock Hill Herald

“Our new facility will serve as a gateway to nature, a launching point for outdoor adventures on the Greenway. It will provide information and orientation for first-time visitors, and a place where members and visitors can gather to relax and enjoy amenities before or after their activities on the Greenway. The Gateway is designed to help all of our patrons get the most enjoyment out of their time spent on our beautiful 2,100 acres of preserved land.” – 

Darrell Williams, chair, Anne Springs Close Greenway Board of Managers

Admission to the Greenway, including the Gateway, is free for members and $5 per day for non-members.

The building features a large open lobby with interactive informational services, a covered front porch with rocking chairs and ceiling fans, and retail space with Greenway branded merchandise.  The Gateway’s Canteen offers onsite food and beverage services featuring fresh ingredients and healthy alternatives, including breakfast, lunch and happy hour menus.  During summer hours, the Gateway Canteen café will be open daily, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6p.m. on Sunday.

The Gateway’s Eco-Friendly Features

The building was carefully designed and built with natural features to complement the surrounding landscape. It uses materials and sustainability practices that reflect the Greenway’s mission and its caring for the environment. Some of its eco-friendly and energy saving features include: 

  • Passive use of daylight through its light shelves, porches, and clerestory windows
  • Roof-mounted solar panels which are expected to deliver at least 50% of the building’s electricity during peak summer season and fully meet demands during other times of the year 
  • High-efficiency heating and cooling systems
  • Radiant-floor heating system in the public spaces to reduce energy consumption and improve user comfort year-round by mitigating temperature swings and maintaining a constant, comfortable indoor environment
  • Rainwater collection cisterns to provide drip irrigation for the certain landscape areas
  • Use of Zero-VOC materials that do not release gas from toxic chemicals and reduce indoor air quality
  • An indoor air energy recovery unit that draws 100% fresh air to boost indoor air quality
  • Low-flow plumbing fixtures to reduce water usage
  • Movable glass walls that open onto the porch allowing fresh air into the building

The Gateway’s sustainability story will be incorporated into the Greenway’s ongoing education programs for visitors and area school students.

About the Anne Springs Close Greenway

The Anne Springs Close Greenway provides a place for the community to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities – from fishing, hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding to picnics, kayaking and more. It is open daily from
7 a.m. to sunset for outdoor recreation enthusiasts and nature lovers to use its 36 miles of trails. 

The Greenway also offers a myriad of nature-focused educational programs and special events throughout the year. The Comporium Amphitheater hosts a popular live concert series each summer, and other community favorites held on property include the Fall Frolic festival and the Winter Wonderland Holiday Market. Another major Greenway attraction is the member-based Mary Warner Mack Dog Park, which is the region’s premier dog park featuring separate play areas for small and large dogs and a large fenced-in natural area with hiking trails and lake access.

The Anne Springs Close Greenway is a not-for-profit organization that receives no government funding for its ongoing operations and programs. It relies on revenues from its endowment, membership and program fees, and private contributions from individuals, community and corporate partners, and other donors to fund operations and capital needs.