Francis Marion considers acquiring Dargan’s Pond, perhaps restoring the site
Francis Marion University’s Board of Trustees has approved a resolution exploring the acquisition of Dargan’s Pond, a once-popular recreational area in Darlington County.
Dargan’s Pond is a 50-acre pond and recreational area closed to the public since 2016 when a dam was damaged during Hurricane Matthew. Local legislative and community leaders have since approached Francis Marion to pursue restoring the site in lieu of it being decommissioned.
Clemson University, which currently operates Dargan’s Pond as part of its Pee Dee Research and Education Center, has stated its willingness to transfer the property to FMU. The area is close to the Florence County line.
Dargan’s Pond first opened as a recreation area in 1962. Thursday’s resolution authorizes FMU to conduct engineering, soil and permitting studies on the property and, if deemed feasible, accept transfer of Dargan’s Pond in order to restore its use as a recreational area.
Pending favorable results, the resolution authorizes the president to accept the transfer of the property, subject to approval of the board’s executive committee.
Dargan’s Pond is less than two miles from Francis Marion University’s Freshwater Ecology Center, which opened earlier this year. Acquiring the property would complement the Center’s research and teaching activities and further the university’s community service mission.