Home /   Colonial Lake Needs Your Help

Planting for the Future

Rising sea levels, severe weather and changing conditions threaten Colonial Lake, making it critical to adapt our park gardens to survive these challenges. The Conservancy must raise $125,000 for a two-year renovation of Colonial Lake to combat flooding, restore biodiversity, and enhance the park.

Click below to read more in these articles about Colonial Lake’s revitalization.

Frequently Asked Questions

Colonial Lake holds a special place for all who visit. Below are several frequently asked questions the Conservancy has received about the latest revitalization of this beloved community park. For other inquiries, please reach us at info@charlestonparksconservancy.org.

This upcoming revitalization is horticultural only, while the renovation in 2016 included infrastructure, including a tidal control structure, sea wall, hardscape, lighting, benches, irrigation and more.

Flooding has gone from an event that occurs only in a hurricane/surge event to happening at any high tide rain event, including this past December and March. This horticultural renovation addresses a changed and changing environment and will not require that the park be closed to residents.


The loss of many mature trees has turned shady areas into disturbed and sunny areas, where aggressive and invasive species have taken over.

The addition of lower-growing and less aggressive pollinator-attracting plants will increase biodiversity, aid in stormwater absorption, attract wildlife, increase safety and visibility, and be easier to manage for the small staff and volunteers that manage 24 other parks and gardens around the city.

We’re creating a more resilient and sustainable landscape by considering the balance between shade and sunlight and selecting plants that thrive in various light conditions.

The Broad Street side of the park is the lowest and most susceptible to flooding and has also undergone the most changes to the growing environment due to the loss of five mature trees and the shade they provided.

Based on our observations and conversations about how the community and the Conservancy utilize and activate the space, we propose adding a turf/grass area to mirror the lawns in other portions of the park for events, programming, and passive areas.

We plan to introduce a diverse plant palette that will thrive in our park’s environment.

The renovation timeline depends on securing funding. However, our goal is to complete major clearing and invasive plant removal in the fall in order to plant during the early winter planting season.

To view full plan details on the Colonial Lake renovation by stage and street, please click on each of the links below.

We Need Your Support

Thanks to a generous match by Cindy & Ben Lenhardt, every donation to the Colonial Lake Capital Campaign will be DOUBLED up to $50,000. To unlock this full match, we must raise an additional $25,000 by August 1, 2024. Please donate today to help us plant Colonial Lake for an even more beautiful future!

To contribute to the Colonial Lake Capital Campaign, please select your amount and choose ‘Colonial Lake Renovation 2024’.

Thank you for your support

Cindy & Ben Lenhardt

Sven, Kristin & Delfina Lindblad
Leslie Turner

Tempest Restaurant

Jessica Aaron
Dominic Cioffoletti
Nigel and Kate Cooper
Madison Floyd III
Jessica Gibadlo
Penelope Gnesin
Ken and Robin Hanger
Mariana Hay
John M. Rivers, Jr. Foundation
Jay & Julie Kaminski & The Walking Book Club®
Woody and CJ Kerr
Susan Kridler
Celeste Patrick
Ronald Wyman

Sheran Becker
Dufford Young Architects
Alysann Sieren

Mrs. Roger (Bessie) Hanahan
Megan Waligora

Amy Adams
Melinda Allen
Connie Andrews
Kirsten Bhattacharyya
Ron and Brenda Cain
Bill Carswell
Tony Chiappetta
Avery Costigan
Melissa Barbour Dickerson
Nate Dittman
Gary & Carolyn Gildersleeve
Tracey Gillespie
Corrie Gladstein
Marian Greely
Will & Jason Hardee
Lisa Hartman
Nicholas Helms
Patrick Heyne
Sherry Hirsch
Susannah Hubbell
Donna Hudgins
Paul Keefer
Peter Mani
Denise Mansheim
Denise Mansheim
Carla Marcinowski
Marilyn Mattice
David Mendez
B.V. Messervy
Linda Mays O’Quinn
Blythe Penna
Elizabeth Perrine
Grace Reed
Jeannie Rogers
Nancy Scaramella
Danny Scott
Michael & Laura Tayloe
Lisa Turner
Ali Warburton
Lisa Woodring