Partnerships Lead to Outdoor Learning Space, Walking Trail for Rural S.C. Community

REMBERT, S.C. – West Lee Elementary School in Rembert is now home to an outdoor learning space, thanks to several partnerships focused on expanding resources to rural South Carolina communities, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced today.

The outdoor learning space – which includes an ADA-accessible playground, community garden, reading nook and walking trail – is made possible by several community partners, including the Lee County Rural Leadership and Interagency Coalition, the S.C. Office of Rural Health, Project C.A.R.E. Coalition, DHEC, and others. This joint effort centers on improving the literacy, nutrition and physical activity of West Lee Elementary students as well as the surrounding community that will have access to the site after school hours.

“We were happy to come together with multiple partners to make this happen at West Lee Elementary,” said Regina Nesmith-Dimery, Health Educator with DHEC. “This initiative was part of the overall goal of health and wellness for the residents of South Carolina and will have lasting impacts in the area.”

Lee County Farm & Garden Market plans to address food access limitations by holding a farmers market at a pavilion that’s also part of the new outdoor space.

“If we can help give communities the opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities, and families a place to go, then we will have a healthier standard of living for everyone in the state,” said Quin Knox, DHEC’s Policy, Systems & Environmental Change Coordinator.

A ribbon cutting for the outdoor learning space is 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Wednesday, June 5 at West Lee Elementary School at 55 West Lee School Road in Rembert. Media is encouraged to attend.

Other community partners that contributed to this project include Central Carolina Technical College, Lee County Public Library, Lee County Sherriff’s Office, Lee County Retired Teachers Association, the National Council of Negro Women and Newspapers in Education, the BlueCross BlueShield of S.C. Foundation, the S.C. Parks and Recreation Development Fund, Lee County Government and Care-South Carolina, Inc.

For pictures from the construction of the learning space, please contact DHEC media relations.