IT'S OFFICIAL – THE INGRAM DUNES NATURAL AREA IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
North Myrtle Beach, SC – October 24, 2019 –
Today, City Council and many others gathered at the 7.24-acres Ingram Dunes Natural Area to recognize those who contributed to the purchase of the property on June 4, 2019.
The purchase price was $2.5 million.
In her remarks, Mayor Marilyn Hatley said that:
"Everyone, from the largest donor to the smallest, is responsible for our being here today. However, there are those without whose involvement we would not be here today.
"We owe the South Carolina Conservation Bank and its board of directors a large debt of gratitude. The board worked with the City as we went through extended negotiations for this unique piece of land. We thank the board for staying the course, and we thank them for the conservation bank’s $500,000 investment Ingram Dunes.
"I would like to thank our City Council members for committing the City to its $500,000 contribution. While many people in our community loved the idea of preserving Ingram Dunes, I can tell you that not so many of our taxpayers loved the idea of committing significant taxpayer funds to this project. However, Council understood the value of this land to the community and stayed the course.
"Even with those two major contributions," Mayor Hatley continued, "we were still $1.5 million short of the funds needed to buy this land. I know we can all agree that when the family of Charles Ingram stepped forward to announce that it would contribute $1.4 million to the purchase of this natural area, this was the turning point in all of our efforts. Without the generosity of the family of Charles Ingram, we would not be celebrating here today."
The city also received 71 donations from the public. The donations ranged from $10 to $16,039. They closed the funding gap.
Mayor Hatley thanked the members of the Horry County delegation, from the federal to the local levels, for their help in securing funding.
"Journeys like the one that led us here today do not just happen," Mayor Hatley said. "Someone always rises up and lights that first spark, encouraging others to embark on a worthwhile journey. We thank Damien Trioulerye and Jane Vernon for having been early leaders in the effort to preserve Ingram Dunes. They introduced us to the unique natural value of Ingram Dunes."
The Ingram Dunes Natural Area is managed by the City's Parks & Recreation Department. Parks Division employees will maintain the property but will not add much to what is already there.
The Ingram Dunes Natural Area honors the family of Charles Ingram. Members of the Charles Ingram family attended today's event but preferred not to speak. As Mayor Hatley put it, "They are comfortable in letting Ingram Dunes speak for itself."
The address for the Ingram Dunes Natural Area is 915 Hillside Drive South. It is across from Hillside Commons.