Lombard Mill Pond Trail blends preservation, recreation

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Hazel Langrall sees a bright future for Butler Creek and the community it serves.

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Hazel Langrall, the executive director of Central Savannah River Land Trust, says the group will open the Lombard Mill Pond Trail this fall.   JACKIE RICCIARDI/STAFF
JACKIE RICCIARDI/STAFF
Hazel Langrall, the executive director of Central Savannah River Land Trust, says the group will open the Lombard Mill Pond Trail this fall.

“Augusta has the canal, and North Augusta has the Greeneway,” she said. “So why not south Augusta, too?”

This fall, the Central Savannah River Land Trust will open the first link in a planned network of trails designed to showcase the creek’s natural beauty and preserve its historic charm.

“When the city first got this property, it was full of trash – tons of trash,” said Langrall, the trust’s executive director.

Five years of planning, combined with a $100,000 state grant and generous aid from volunteer groups, helped create the Lombard Mill Pond Trail, which meanders along a revegetating floodplain off Deans Bridge Road.

From a trail head on Old Highway 1, the paved entrance leads to a handicapped accessible entrance with a boardwalk and deck overlooking the site of Lombard Pond, where a 19th-century grist mill and granary once thrived.

Today, its moss-covered ruins include ancient beams, iron machinery and layers of brick worn smooth by a century of water.

The pond is long gone, having been drained when portions of the dam were removed decades ago. Today, the creek meanders through its open plain packed with wildflowers and aquatic vegetation.

“If you look at this area, it’s a visual of how man can affect nature, and how nature can recover and take control again,” Langrall said.

The land trust, which manages the city of Augusta’s green-space program, hopes to tie the Lombard Mill Pond site with other parcels along Butler Creek to create a network of trails that will extend from Fort Gordon to Phinizy Swamp and the Savannah River.

The current trail, just longer than a quarter mile, will someday be expanded with bridges and boardwalks to become 2.5 miles. More trails can be added.

To complete the entire corridor, the trust would need access to almost 600 acres. About 411 acres along the creek are owned by the trust or under easements that will prevent them from being developed.

Although recreation is a facet of the trust’s mission of protecting stream buffers, preserving riparian pathways also has important environmental benefits.

“When you keep buffers natural, it helps filter the water supply and improves water quality,” she said. “In developed areas, there is so much stuff flowing into it from neighborhoods, highways and backyards.”

A ribbon-cutting is planned for Oct. 19, but residents may use the area now, including parking pads at the trail head.

“We have a wonderful resource here,” she said. “People just need to have a way to access it.”

LAND TRUST

WHAT: Central Savannah River Land Trust

HISTORY: The land trust was founded in 2001 by members of the Southeastern Natural Sciences Academy.

HOW IT WORKS: The non-profit land trust uses various funding sources to acquire and preserve sensitive areas, such as stream buffers in urbanized areas. Protecting such undeveloped zones wards off water pollution and reduces flood damage, while promoting greenspace and recreation opportunities.

SUCCESSES: The trust has protected, either through purchase or conservation easements on private lands, about 5,400 acres.

WHAT’S NEXT? The group’s newest project, the Lombard Mill Pond Trail on Butler Creek, officially opens this fall.

WEB SITE: www.csrlt.org

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countyman
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countyman 09/14/11 - 11:56 pm
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The city of Augusta(old city)

The city of Augusta(old city) has both the Riverwalk and canal.. By the year 2015 Augusta can the have best greenway in the metro.. Bob Munger(developer of the future Lofts at Marbury) is gaining support among the young professionals in the metro area.. Alot of residents know the city of Augusta is controlled by a small group, and those people don't want major change. The greenway would connect the CBD, GHSU, University, VA, Paine College, and Walton Rehab.. The proposed bridge of the Greenway crosses over the Augusta canal.. The Greenway is dedicated to LSV's(less than 25 miles per hour), PTV's (less than 20 miles per hour) golf cart, biking, walking, etc.. The Greenway, $1.2 million Augusta Canal expansion starting this year, DDA installing additional bike racks on Broad street, and the mayor(SRS, Ft. Gordon, GA Power, Milton Ruben Chevrolet, Jefferson Electric, etc) working on bringing charging stations.. The four diffrent projects can seriously change the future of Augusta.. The mayor recently applied for a $500k grant from the Dept of Engergy.. The progress allows Augusta to begin planning for new charging stations..

Google Augusta Greenway Alliance for more information.. If you want to get involved Mr. Munger's email address is available under ''About Us''..

countyman
20144
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countyman 09/14/11 - 11:20 pm
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I noticed the city of Augusta

I noticed the city of Augusta is spending $500k between 2011 and 2013 to create the Butler Creek Trailhead Park..

'The development of this park site(36 acres), which includes a portion of Butler Creek, would include parking and pedestrian access via a footbridge to the park from south of Butler Creek, a picnic shelter with rest rooms, a natural playground area and maintained open space.'

EagleDawg
22
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EagleDawg 09/14/11 - 11:36 pm
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Great reclamation of the

Great reclamation of the green space. It would be sweet if they rebuild the grist mill.

Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 09/15/11 - 01:47 am
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(C)ountyman, The plans about

(C)ountyman,

The plans about which you write make a lot of sense to me.

"The Garden City of the South" needs a green center city area to reinfoce this title it covets.

Riverman1
84137
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Riverman1 09/15/11 - 04:40 am
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I like what Countyman wrote

I like what Countyman wrote about also. Greenways in a city can give the area a quality of recreation and leisure. I really wish all the greenway plans were incorporated with ASU expansion in the downtown area. That's the only negative I see here. We just aren't encouraging ASU to expand in the city. They could be the salvation of Augusta.

Apparently, plans are being made to close some colleges and ASU will enlarge because of the other schools closing. Let's plan how we can benefit best from major ASU expansion.

seenitB4
87395
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seenitB4 09/15/11 - 07:19 am
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Great work Hazel.....South

Great work Hazel.....South Augusta needs some green places.....keep up the goodwork!

Rob Pavey
552
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Rob Pavey 09/15/11 - 09:25 am
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I picked up a neat bit of

I picked up a neat bit of history on this place that I was not aware of during our visit yesterday. My retired colleague Bill Baab tells me Lombard Pond was a popular commercial swimming hole in the late 40s and early 50s. I bet a lot of great memories were made there!

emergencyfan
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emergencyfan 09/15/11 - 09:31 am
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Riverman, I asked this before

Riverman, I asked this before (and for some reason you bit my head off). Where downtown do you propose ASU move?

Riverman1
84137
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Riverman1 09/15/11 - 09:41 am
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Emergencyfan, I didn't snap

Emergencyfan, I didn't snap at ya. If it seemed so I'm sorry. What I said was I had brought this subject up a good bit and am not exactly sure where expansion would or should occur. I'm open to ideas.

I do imagine it would be a hop scotch matter all over town. The College of Charleston would be my model where they kept historic structures where possible, but also built larger, modern buildings down the block and so on. They built a large gym that's used for other things in town. Their baseball and athletic fields are across the river. That kind of fits in with the Wrightsboro Rd Athletic complex here.

All this could go together with beautifying the downtown area. See what I mean?

Riverman1
84137
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Riverman1 09/15/11 - 09:44 am
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Emergencyfan, since you asked

Emergencyfan, since you asked for ideas, what about classrooms and maybe dorms backing up to the Kroc Center in Harrisburg? That could help the area and the two institutions could have a synergistic effect on each other.

emergencyfan
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emergencyfan 09/15/11 - 10:25 am
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Interesting idea, but I'm not

Interesting idea, but I'm not sure they have the funds to purchase the property, rebuild the dorms, and is there enough room long-term? I may be wrong, but I think the intention is that eventually the main campus on Walton Way will become a satellite campus and the new main campus will be on Wrightsboro Rd (so they have room to grow). The dorms and the athletic complex are already out there and would be expensive to move downtown. Consolidating everything on Walton Way would also be more cost effective, infrastructure-wise. If they built downtown right now, they'd be very spread out, you'd have to provide transportation and security for three separate locations: Walton Way, Wrightsboro Rd and downtown.

sand gnat
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sand gnat 09/15/11 - 10:54 am
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No offense, but who in their

No offense, but who in their right mind would take small children to this location? Will there be deputies there 24/7 to protect the public from gang and drug related crime that this area offers?

countyman
20144
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countyman 09/15/11 - 11:20 am
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Gang crime at the trail lol??

Gang crime at the trail lol?? Gang members don't visit that location at all..

I've never heard of crime issues at the Phinizy Nature Swamp Park..

Sweet son
10415
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Sweet son 09/15/11 - 11:26 am
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What was the name of the pond

What was the name of the pond and swimming facility on Rocky Creek at Peach Orchard Rd?

Riverman1
84137
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Riverman1 09/15/11 - 11:50 am
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Emergencyfan, you bring the

Emergencyfan, you bring the issue to a point. Where is the future of ASU going to be? Wrightsboro Rd or urban Augusta? I'm simply saying if they choose to expand in the old city area, it would help the city and add an urban air to the college. Just something to think about before we end up on Wrightsboro Rd without considering all options.

I'm also a realist and know Augusta is not Charleston and ASU is not the College of Charleston. Their expansion plan in Charleston helped the city and school, however, is a fact.

allhans
23685
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allhans 09/15/11 - 01:04 pm
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sweet son..There was a

sweet son..There was a Wilkinson's Pond in that area, I'm not sure just where. We usually went across the river to Carolina Springs.
I recall one on Peach Orchard Rd too, not far from Gordon Highway.

justthefacts
22004
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justthefacts 09/15/11 - 01:06 pm
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sweet son, Lombards was on

sweet son, Lombards was on Peach Orchard, just down from Barney's Pharm. I don't know if that was Rocky Creek. Spent lots of time at Lombards.

justthefacts
22004
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justthefacts 09/15/11 - 01:08 pm
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River's thoughts on ASU

River's thoughts on ASU moving downtown make too much sense to ever come true.

seenitB4
87395
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seenitB4 09/15/11 - 02:23 pm
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JTF.....I also spent some

JTF.....I also spent some time at Lombards....you are right about the location---down from Barneys Drugs---on Peach Orchard--not far from the Gordon Hy.....cold-cold water----learned to swim there....

Iwannakno
1533
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Iwannakno 09/15/11 - 02:54 pm
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The Lombard's in this article
Unpublished

The Lombard's in this article refers to an old grist mill and a popular swimming hole for teens.The Lombard's that was on Peach Orchard Road (right beside Bungalow Road)was a for profit swimming place. For once I agree with countyman. This is a good thing for Augusta. I just wish Augusta would focus as much energy on crime as they do on parks and recreation.

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
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Crime Reports and Rewards TV 09/15/11 - 03:22 pm
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Good deal.

Good deal.

Willow Bailey
20580
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Willow Bailey 09/15/11 - 03:28 pm
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River, I love your idea,

River, I love your idea, there must be a reason for DT other than medical, and we all know retail isn't carrying it.

Sweet son
10415
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Sweet son 09/15/11 - 04:58 pm
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Thanks for the info about the

Thanks for the info about the Peach Orchard Lombards. I knew that we as kids went there to swim and they would put so much chlorine in the pool that some would dye their hair blonde and it would turn it green. I also learned that Lombard was a big name in the foundry business around and after the Civil War. There were four generations of George Lombard that headed the company. We know that company today as Augusta Iron and Steel located on Martinez Blvd. and of course it is in Martinez.

seenitB4
87395
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seenitB4 09/15/11 - 05:42 pm
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Never knew that

Never knew that sweetson..thanks for the info.

MelC
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MelC 09/20/11 - 07:31 pm
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A little history on the

A little history on the Lombard Pond Mill site. It was owned by Roswell Lombard who built a huge Victorian home there in the late 19th century. As stated before, he was of the Lombard Iron Works family and was quite wealthy. His daughter,Charlie, married Ty Cobb at this home in 1908 and she and Ty lived there in the off season until they bought a home in the "Hill Section". I think several of their children were born there. Saw a picture online of this house and it was huge!! Two story wrap around porches and surrounded by large iron decorative fencing that no doubt was made by Lombards Iron Works. Wondering if anything of this home still remains.

Lombard's swimming pond/pool on Peach Orchard at Rocky Creek was owned by Roswell's brother Charles.

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