Ribbon cut on Mungo Park in Irmo
Members of the Irmo Chapin Recreation Commission, officials, and a generous family, gathered in Irmo Tuesday morning for the grand opening of the ICRC’s newest park.
The 116 acres that was formerly known as The Rawls Creek Golf Course was donated to the commission by the Mungo family, owners of Mungo Homes.
A sign was also unveiled Tuesday with the new park’s name. It’s the Michael J. & Mary Meech Mungo Park.
ICRC Executive Director Mark Smyers stressed the importance of the day by noting the number of parks the ICRC has acquired over the years.
“This is a big deal. This is a significant moment,” he said. “ICRC has been around for 49 years, and in those 49 years we have grown to a footprint of four signature parks and one community park for a total of 701 acres.”
Smyers added that just last year the ICRC opened Melvin Park in Chapin, and now Tuesday’s event marked the sixth park in the the ICRC system.
“So six locations in 49 years, only six. These moments don’t come along very often, which makes it extremely special,” he said.
All speakers showed gratitude to Steven Mungo and his family, acknowledging the generosity they have demonstrated through the donation. Mungo explained that he spent years on the property, when his father decided he was going to convert it to the golf course.
“When we were growing up, you didn’t just sit home. Dad decided he was going to build a golf course and we were going to help,” he said.
After the course closed, the family wanted something sustainable to be done with the land, to benefit the community, according to Mungo. “This is really a use that will benefit a whole lot more people than a golf course ever could,” he said.
Smyers explained that the commission was approached back in December about acquiring the property. He said after consideration, the vote was unanimous to accept the donation. He described the acreage as a “big, big gift.”
The park includes a wetlands area, a natural or “wild” area, and a maintained area, that according to Smyers, would be ideal for playing frisbee or having a picnic. He described the new park as an amenity for people to enjoy, make memories, and grow up using the facility.