The Gills Creek Watershed Association honored EDENS with the 2018 Watershed Wonder award, which was created to recognize people or organizations that had made extraordinary and lasting contributions to the Gills Creek Watershed. With a home base in Columbia, EDENS develops, owns, and operates shopping centers in primary markets across the country. The hallmarks of an EDENS project are a commitment to enriching communities through human engagement, as well as increasing an authentic experience of connectivity with surrounding areas.
When EDENS was developing the long-vacant parcel near Gills Creek that became the Cross Hill Market the company approached the Gills Creek Watershed Association to discuss plans for stormwater management and community education. The company installed rain gardens in the front and rear parking lots to divert and cleanse stormwater before it entered Gills Creek. This was one of the first commercial developments in Columbia to use such techniques. EDENS’ team also consulted with the adjacent residents to build a sidewalk to facilitate a pedestrian connection to Cross Hill Market, installed electric vehicle charging stations, and provided education for the community about stormwater management. Since then, the company has played a significant role in stream enhancement along Crowson Road, in an area severely affected by the 2015 flood, and has served as a model for other developers in the area. Lyle Darnall, Managing Director at EDENS, accepted the award at the Annual Meeting! of the Gills Creek Watershed Association on November 13.
The Gills Creek Watershed Association is dedicated to restoring and protecting the Gills Creek Watershed, which stretches from the creek’s headwaters near the Kershaw County line to the Congaree River, including 47,000 acres of land and over 115 miles of streams.
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