CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The City of Charleston Parks Department has received the 2021 AARP Community Challenge Grant, which is expected to go towards improving Philip Simmons Park in Charleston’s Eastside community.

The park’s improvements include an overhaul of the existing irrigation system, installing Wi-Fi hotspots, adding more seating areas, landscaping, and more.

Philip Simmons Park is located at the intersection of Columbus and America Streets, forming one of four quadrants of Hampstead Mall, Charleston’s oldest green space and gathering point among the Eastside community.

With $12,000 in AARP grant funds, combined with more than $7,000 raised by Eastside residents, the city will begin park enhancements, while maintaining the community’s value of it for years to come.

The full range of improvements are set to be completed by November 2021.

Specific improvements include the following:

  • Lawn renovations
  • Additional paintings beneath the existing grand live oak trees
  • Refurbished pathways
  • Installation of new seating areas and trash receptacles
  • Overhaul of the existing irrigation system
  • Installation of a Wi-Fi hotspot

Eastside neighborhood residents and stakeholders including Eastside Garden Club, St. John’s Chapel, and Second Saturday collaborated with the city Park department in producing the park’s design plans. Other partners include the Eastside Community Development Corporation (ECDC), and Hampstead Trust for the Public Realm.

Contributions can still be made at