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Prisma Health and City of Columbia collaborate to improve and connect three riverfront greenways

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

COLUMBIA, S.C.—The City of Columbia and Prisma Health are working together to improve and connect three of Columbia’s greenways to encourage the public in healthy outdoor activities. Prisma Health is providing a $2 million contribution to allow a critical connection across the canal to be made. The city will be rebranding the parks to include Prisma Health in the name of Riverfront Park, Saluda Riverwalk and Vista Greenway. A formal event for the partnership will be held when new signage is ready to unveil.

The Columbia City Council voted to accept the donation to the City for the use and support of the Riverfront Park, Saluda Riverwalk and the Vista Greenway at their Nov. 9 meeting.

“We are fortunate to have an established partnership with Prisma Health, one of the leading healthcare providers in the state of South Carolina. This contribution continues to maximize our ability to extend recreational activities to the citizens of the City of Columbia, and the community at large. We are grateful for their generosity and desire to invest in the City of Columbia Parks and Recreation Department. With this contribution, Prisma Health recognizes the benefits of our parks and greenways. This connectivity will ultimately stimulate economic, environmental and social health for the City of Columbia, while also improving health through active lifestyles,” said Henry Simons, assistant city manager of operations, City of Columbia.   

Robin Stelling, director of community engagement for Prisma Health, said, “As part of our community citizenship, Prisma Health provides sponsorships to more than 150 organizations to improve the health and well-being of our communities, and works with local municipalities in public-private partnerships. We are proud to be working with the City of Columbia on the Columbia Riverfront, Saluda Riverwalk and Vista Greenway to help create spaces for diverse communities to gather for recreation, fellowship and learning. This is another example of how Prisma Health goes beyond the walls of its facilities to promote health, wellness and engagement for the people of South Carolina.” 

  • Date opened:
    • Riverfront Park: 1983.
    • Vista Greenway: 2012.
    • Saluda Riverwalk: 2021.
  • Greenway length:
    • Riverfront Park: 3 miles.
    • Vista Greenway: .9 miles.
    • Saluda Riverwalk: 3.1 miles.
    • Total: 7 miles.
  • Typical attendance:
    • Riverfront Park: 125,000 annually.
    • Vista Greenway: No data at this time, but provides linkage from downtown to the greenways creating a critical hub for connectivity.
    • Saluda Riverwalk: 80,000 annually.
  • Events:
    • Art Along the Trail.
    • Iceman Kayak Championships on the Saluda River.
    • Bierkeller Columbia at the Riverfront.
    • Rocky Shoals Spider Lily Tour.
    • Kayak outdoor adventure camp.

“The River Alliance knows the Three Rivers Greenway is a great asset for the region and we are excited that Prisma Health shares that view. This partnership will allow an important bridge connection to be made between the State Museum Gervais Street Bridge area and Riverfront Park. This is a long needed critical connection and with other ongoing projects will link the downtown to the Riverbanks Zoo and the Saluda Riverwalk. Greenways have become part of the daily life of ever-increasing numbers particularly in the last year. We hope that our Prisma Health partners and those whose lives they touch across the state will join us on the rivers. We guarantee they will feel better,” said Mike Dawson, chief executive officer of The River Alliance.  

About Prisma Health

Prisma Health is a not-for-profit health company and the largest healthcare system in South Carolina. With nearly 30,000 team members, 18 acute care and specialty hospitals, 2,947 beds, approximately 300 outpatient sites, and nearly 5,000 employed and clinically integrated network physicians and providers, Prisma Health serves more than 1.2 million unique patients annually in its 21-county market area that covers 50% of South Carolina. Prisma Health’s goal is to improve the health of all South Carolinians by enhancing clinical quality, the patient experience and access to affordable care, as well as conducting clinical research and training the next generation of medical professionals. For more information, visit PrismaHealth.org.

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