Heathwood Students Help Launch WhatsNextMidlands Project

Monday, December 5, 2016

On November 10th, students from Julie Firetag’s Upper School Government and Economics class and Emily Hodges 8th Grade English class participated in an idea session with What’s Next Midlands.

What’s Next Midlands is an idea hub that inspires community action. The project is managed by EngenuitySC, a local economic development nonprofit dedicated to making the Midlands a more competitive marketplace. What’s Next Midlands gives everyone from our region an opportunity to share or vote on great ideas to make the Midlands a better place to live, learn, work and play.

During the idea session, students brainstormed ideas that could impact the Midlands in a number of ways, including parks and recreation, culture and infrastructure.

At the end of the session, students narrowed down their top 3 ideas, which included a putt-putt golf course, a family recreation center at the Richland Fashion Mall, and a riverfront boat ramp that would allow easy access for kayaks.

As it turned out, many like-minded community members shared an interest in creating an access point for kayaks and canoes! The idea was submitted to WhatsNextMidlands.com and gained enough traction for it to be selected as the next project for implementation. What’s Next Midlands is currently working with the City of Cayce and the Department of Natural Resources to open a kayak launch to the public in 2017.

What’s Next Midlands was thrilled to be a part of Heathwood Hall’s Columbia Connections program, and to have the opportunity to engage students in new ideas and problem-solving skills that can make an impact on our community.