Construction should be under way in Martinez this summer on a new campsite for youth groups.
The Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H and the Lakeside High School cross country team intend to pool their resources to transform a former inert landfill on Blackstone Camp Road into a camping mecca.
"We walked the site a few months ago and noted how beautiful it was," said Dave Squires, an Augusta-based oncologist who lives nearby and volunteers with the Boy Scouts. "In honor of the 100th anniversary of Scouting, which is this year, we thought this would be a great time to build an outdoor recreational facility that Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H and cross country teams could use."
Amenities could include grills, fire pits, an amphitheater, restrooms, a pavilion, an activities field and a gravel parking lot, according to documents from Columbia County Community and Leisure Services.
The campsite will be built in four construction phases using $230,000 in 1 percent sales tax funds earmarked for the county-owned property for park development.
The local Boy Scout organization also is applying for a $100,000 federal land and water conservation grant administered by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
A recycling center planned for the site has been moved to Riverside Park on Hardy-McManus Road.
Squires said Lakeside High also wants to construct a cross country track on the nearly 20-acre site.
Scouts will use the site for hiking, camping and service projects, while 4-H members will use it for forestry judging and training for master gardeners, said Squires, whose two older children are Boy Scouts.
"This will help youth development, leadership and parents to encourage their children to get outside and appreciate nature," he said.
Paving a road and running water lines to the campground likely will start in August, Squires said, and he hopes construction will be finished within a year.
"It's something that's going to benefit many of the youth in this area," he said.
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