The Town of Hilton Head Island provides 60 miles of public pathways and multiple beach and community parks where people seek opportunities to recreate and relax. While people enjoy these amenities, the Town must consider ways to improve them and make them accessible for various uses.

That involves making way for electric bicycles (E-bikes), creating more parks, and connecting with our community so we know what’s on your mind about our amenities.

Last month, Town Council approved first reading of an ordinance allowing lower-speed electric bicycles, commonly referred to as E-bikes, on the Town’s public pathways. I voted to pass this ordinance, which will come before Town Council this month for second and final reading.

E-bikes have many positive attributes that allow older individuals, individuals with disabilities, commuting workers, and people who may be new to biking the ability to ride a bicycle and enjoy the Town’s recreational pathways. With input from our biking community, our staff was able to put together an ordinance that permits the use of E-bikes in a safe manner.

The Town’s Parks and Recreation Commission wishes to hear from the island community this summer. Your responses on a short survey will help the commission understand the parks and recreation trends and preferences from our residents and visitors. The commission will use survey results to make recommendations to Town Council about the future for parks and recreation.

The topics covered by the survey include existing and future parks, programming, recreation facilities, funding, and maintenance and operations. Your input in the survey is valuable towards the on-going implementation of the Town’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan. You can access the survey on the Town’s website at

Speaking of future parks, the Town is the process of developing two small neighborhood parks. One will be located on the three-acre Patterson Family tract the town owns at 23 Marshland Road. This land was once owned by the Pattersons, a prominent native islander family.

Town staff recently held a community meeting to get input from community residents and other stakeholders on the design and construction of this new park. A robust discussion took place and generated ideas for the park. After plans are developed, Town staff will share them with the community.

The other is the Taylor Family tract on Wild Horse Road. It too was owned by a Gullah family and later sold to the Taylor Family. The Taylor Family deeded the land to the Town specifically for a park. Town staff will schedule a community meeting for this park soon. Your ideas will be welcomed.

A part or our Parks and Recreation Master Plan includes redevelopment work for the Chaplin Community Park and the Crossings Park. Plans for these parks will be discussed at an upcoming Town Council workshop in September. I hope you will tune in for that meeting.

John McCann is the mayor of the Town of Hilton Head Island.