Sumter, SC – October 16, 2015 - In the days following the Sumter community’s extensive flooding during the weekend of October 3, the City of Sumter immediately began to assess and repair water damage to the city’s most visited park. Today, City leaders are pleased to announce that Swan Lake Iris Gardens have re-opened to the public; however, at this time, some areas of the park remain inaccessible due to continued hazardous conditions.
The areas that reopened today are the Bland Gardens (north side of West Liberty Street), including the gazebo, trails, and boardwalk areas. Limited areas of the Heath Gardens (south of West Liberty) will be open as follows:
Swan Lake Visitors Center (M-F, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.)
Iris Market (Thu-Fri, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Sat, 12-5 p.m.; Sun, 1-5 p.m.)
Main fairway (lawn area)
Walking path from the elevator to the dam
Playground and adjacent picnic shelters
The entire Garden Street area will remain closed at this time. As for the open areas, the City asks that visitors remain on the walking trail or lawn areas, and do not venture beyond any fencing, rocks or tree roots situated along the edge of the normal waterline. The water level in the pond is very low, with exposed ground saturated and very slippery, making it a falling hazard. Visitors using wheelchairs or strollers will need to exercise special caution.
The park is open daily from 7:30 a.m. until dusk. Repairs and improvements will continue in coming weeks and months. All facility rentals remain closed until further notice.
Swan Lake Iris Gardens is the only public park in the United States to feature all eight swan species and is home to some of the nation's most intensive plantings of Japanese iris. With a butterfly garden, art sculptures, café and more, the lake is dotted with colorful islands, and wildlife is abundant.
For more information on Swan Lake Iris Gardens, contact the Sumter Convention & Visitors Bureau, located at the Swan Lake Visitors Center at (803) 436-2640 or online at www.sumtersc.gov.
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