It was a catchy headline about a serious matter on Wednesday’s front page. “Ramping up support” was in reference to the future of Lake Greenwood. More specifically lake access for boaters and sport fishermen.

Clearly, Lake Greenwood is one of the jewels in Greenwood County’s crowns. We must not only preserve it, but also ensure it meets the needs of residents and those who use it for recreation. And in a controlled fashion.

Fortunately, that seems the goal of Greenwood County leaders in unison with groups such as Connect Lake Greenwood and Preserving Lake Greenwood. No doubt there will be differences of opinions, but we can and should hope that today’s contentious and divisive national political climate doesn’t trickle down to our lake and those who manage it, use it, live on it.

The county’s Lake Master Plan Committee, given the task of assembling long-term goals for the lake, includes as a top priority the need for more and improved public access. And, in fact, Greenwood County’s voters supported the capital project sales tax initiative that included in its 27 identified projects making improvements to the lake.

More access points, adequate parking for trucks and trailers and the need for restroom facilities are a significant part of that goal, and well should be. No doubt many residents who line the lake’s shore would prefer to maintain the status quo. To an extent it is understandable that the lake is to them what a homeowner’s pool is to them. Not everybody and anybody ought to use it. But Lake Greenwood is not only supported by the taxpayers as it belongs to the county, it is also a destination point for a good number of visitors. The lake has also been a popular spot for fishing tournaments and campers who regularly come to the state park on the southern end.

It really is a shame that as one reaches a primary causeway connecting Greenwood County to neighboring Laurens County, essentially at the lake’s midpoint, there is no public facility. Sure, once people get their boats in the water they can dock at Break on the Lake and enjoy that restaurant’s amenities or head to a couple of other destinations, such as Harris Landing, but initial access is greatly restricted.

Lake Greenwood has grown in purpose. It’s not just a means of generating power. It’s no longer where a few cabins and trailers were put up by residents who wanted to use the lake during the summer for recreation. It is a resource that serves many purposes, many people, businesses and industries.

Our hope is that a brain trust will keep all of that in mind moving forward so that Lake Greenwood can remain a vibrant resource for business, residents and visitors for generations to come.