If you’ve been down to the Washout lately at Folly Beach, you’ve noticed a distinctive but subtle change in its appearance. This unique section of Folly Beach is appropriately named as this is all that remained following a visit from Hurricane Hugo in 1989. The road along this section of the island, as well as many of the homes, was completely washed away by the storm. As a result, this area is widely considered to be the Lowcountry’s best surfing spot. Now, through the efforts of the Folly Association of Business’s “Beautification Committee” a new lush tropical feel is slowly and naturally blending in. Two of the five beach walkovers have already been newly landscaped, and plans are in place to complete the remaining three walkovers in the coming months. The Beautification Committee is wrapping up their second year with this latest project. Each walkover will ultimately be landscaped with a variety of local foliage species that are able to tolerate and flourish in the very harsh environment that a completely exposed beach offers. The committee has done a fantastic job of designing a layout and planting each walkover using a variety of curved sabal palmetto palms, pindo palms, calypso oleander, wild grasses and lantana. New showers and a stepping stone walkway have also been added to the walkover called the “observation deck” where all of the local surf competitions are hosted throughout the year.

The Beautification Committee has previously been successful in completing other projects around Folly Beach such as the installation of new street signs throughout the entire island, the installation of lighthouse cigarette butt dispensers in various public areas, and also the placement, planting and upkeep of multiple planter boxes throughout much of the commercial district.

But getting back to the Washout, the project has been positively met with praise and excitement for its completion from local residents and visitors alike. Plans have already been submitted for the 3rd walkover and it should be completed soon! One of the 2009 goals is to finalize and implement plans for a changing station with bathroom facilities at the Washout as well. Folly Beach has a laid back “Bohemian” type style and atmosphere reminding many visitors of Key West, only with beautiful beaches that stretch the entire 6-1/2 miles of the island. “Slow Down….Relax It’s Folly” is not just the island’s slogan but it is the way of life for the locals and thousands of visitors that visit the island yearly.
So next time you’re checking out the surf at the Washout or wandering up and down Center Street be sure to take notice of these new beautiful additions to our island and always remember to “Slow Down…..Relax It’s Folly”