Peachy the Magazine June July 2014 - Page 127

INSPIRE Windermere Community Garden Greenspace was the Conservancy’s first project and continues to add beauty to green spaces located in a busy shopping plaza. “Fourtunate convergences” is how Conservancy Executive Director Harry Lesesne describes the creation of his organization. Through the strategic vision and passion of dedicated philanthropist and native South Carolinian Darla Moore, the Conservancy has grown over the past seven years into an expansive community collaborator that is catalyzing Charlestonians to revitalize and maintain their public green spaces. “Darla Moore, who has been a highly successful businesswoman in New York City, became more engaged in Charleston after purchasing a second home here,” said Lesesne. “After spending more and more time in Charleston, seeing the beautifully restored private homes and gardens, she saw an opportunity to do something to raise the bar for Charleston’s public spaces.” With this desire to pump life into parks and public green spaces, Moore sought the expertise and talents from New York, seeking advice and guidance from one of the world’s premier parks’ conservancies—New York’s Central Park Conservancy. This organization, along with an additional collaboration with faculty at Columbia University, was able to provide critical strategic advice on how to structure, maintain and grow a new 501(c)(3) dedicated to restoring Charleston’s public parks. “Darla is not just interested, she is engaged in the Conservancy,” said Lesesne, “and has been involved in every important strategic decision.” “While we have done remarkable things to preserve and enhance our buildings and the ‘Charleston’ way of life, it is now time to reinvigorate the areas our citizens use most and enjoy: our parks,” said Darla Moore. “In pulling together the talent and energy to create the Charleston Parks Conservancy, I hope it will serve as a catalyst for a renewed private/public partnership between the city and its many wonderful neighborhoods to preserve, sustain and enhance the beauty of Charleston’s parks and public spaces.” JUNE JULY 2014 125