Boyd Island Sanctuary holds grand opening

The City of Columbia and the Darnall W. and Susan F. Boyd Foundation announced the official grand opening of the Sanctuary at Boyd Island on Boyd Island on October 30 at 10 am.

Columbia Mayor Daniel J. Rickenmann, District III Councilman Will Brennan, the Darnall W. and Susan F. Boyd Foundation, and the River Alliance provided details about the island sanctuary, and the efforts to facilitate its transformation into a public outdoor space available to the community.

The Boyd Island Sanctuary was made possible thanks to Darnall and Susan Boyd, and more than $1 million in contributions from the Darnall W. and Susan F. Boyd Foundation. After visiting the undeveloped Boyd Island by canoe, Donnie and Susan Boyd found an enchanting natural treasure, but without easy access. They saw the potential for an outdoor sanctuary with a linkage to the Three Rivers Greenway. Working with the River Alliance, the project was developed in concept and then approved by Columbia City Council in 2014. Since then, Susan Boyd has approved every step of the development of the Boyd Island Sanctuary.

The Boyd Island Sanctuary is now a scenic treasure available to the public and can be accessed from the Northern end of the Saluda Riverwalk. The seven-acre island features an abundance of wildlife and more than 75 species of flora, including seasonal views of Rocky Shoals Spider Lilies. The island features a winding foot trail, an observation deck with panoramic overlooks of the rivers’ confluence, artistically rendered metal benches, granite picnic tables, and a new all-metal pavilion.

The 105-foot metal footbridge to Boyd Island was fabricated by ConTec of CoreTen steel and installed by Cape Romain Construction in 2018. The granite and steel picnic tables and benches, and the Spider Lilly Pavilion were fabricated and installed by the Stuyck Company, and Advanced Outdoor Services completed the trails, lights and timber work.

The Darnall W. and Susan F. Boyd Foundation coordinated with One Columbia for Arts and Culture to commission naturalist artist Renee Bemis to design and construct the bronze sculptures of native plants and animals.