In the mid-1980s, the Carolina Foothills Garden Club and the City of Greenville adopted a master plan for the park that was designed to restore the beauty of the area and provide a safe and welcoming gathering spot for individuals and groups.
Hidden away for more than 40 years, the Reedy River Falls were obscured by the Camperdown Bridge until its removal in 2002.
The pedestrian bridge opened views of the falls and the park.
The vision for a dramatic public garden was finally realized when the Camperdown Bridge was removed in 2002. Using funds generated through a local hospitality tax, and building on the master plan designed in 1999 by landscape architect Andrea Mains, Falls Park was developed to include 20 acres of gardens showcasing Reedy River Falls. In August 2002, Mayor Knox White announced "In Full Bloom in 2003," a $13 million initiative to transform the park into a public garden and oasis. Included in the project was
European settlers were forbidden to live here until
In 1768, Richard
In the 19th century, a variety of industries eventually clustered along the Reedy River. Those industries included an ironworks, the Gower, Cox, and Markley Coach Factory, a sawmill, a paper factory, an armory, as well as grist and corn mills.
In 1876, McBee's heirs worked with three Massachusetts mill owners to open the water-powered Camperdown Mill, which produced yarn and gingham until 1956. The falls provided a power source for
In 1852, Furman Institution (now Furman University) bought the land. Three textile mills and a cotton warehouse operated in the early 1900s, all contributing to the pollution of the Reedy River.
In 1967, the Carolina Foothills Garden Club reclaimed 26 acres for the current park, with the support of the City of Greenville, Furman University and the Planning Commission. Over the next 40 years, the Garden Club and the City of Greenville have worked with individuals, corporations and state and federal agencies to further develop the park, clean up the river and restore the historic Falls Cottage. In 1990, landscape architect Andrea Mains introduced the concept of transforming the park into a regional attraction, with beautiful public gardens and a pedestrian bridge.