Instead of figuring out how many cars can fit or how we are going to pay for something, or any other preconceived ideas … the first question should be, what kind of lives do we want to lead.

TedX –

Ryan Gravel

Visionary, Atlanta BeltLine

Setting the Record Straight

We’d like to address a few misconceptions that some community members have recently expressed regarding our involvement with Heart of Boiling Springs.
Upstate Forever and Heart of Boiling Springs have not proposed or endorsed a HUD project in Boiling Springs, nor have we proposed or endorsed ANY plan for the 64-acre property being sold by School District 2.
Upstate Forever has also not taken any position on incorporation, nor in any way promoted incorporation of the Boiling Springs community as a part of the Heart of Boiling Springs initiative.
The Heart of Boiling Springs initiative has always been about providing a forum for Boiling Springs residents to express how they’d like their community to grow — to offer a place for discussion and collaboration. This process, funded by the Mary Black Foundation and in partnership with Toole Design Group, is simply a way to start that discussion and to make it easier for Boiling Springs residents to express their wishes.
Please feel free to share this information with anyone who may have false information about Heart of Boiling Springs and Upstate Forever.
Heart of Boiling Springs and Upstate Forever hosted a set of public workshops in partnership with Toole Design Group. The first one was Thursday, March 22. The second one was Thursday, April 26. The workshops are a huge part of the process to develop a shared, community-driven vision for Boiling Springs.
Contact: Sherry Barrett,, Community Design & Land Planning Manager, Upstate Forever 
Visit for the latest updates.

Heart of Boiling Springs Case Statement

Heart of Boiling Springs is an outgrowth of Building a Healthy Boiling Springs Cohort, a 2017 initiative that convened a small group of community stakeholders concerned about the health and quality of life impacts of unbridled growth and predominantly automobile-oriented development in Boiling Springs. In late 2017, the Cohort expanded its outreach and launched its new brand— Heart of Boiling Springs— to engage the community-at-large. These efforts are the result of a partnership arrangement between Upstate Forever and Upstate Family Resource Center supported by the Mary Black Foundation. Heart of Boiling Springs and its predecessor, Building a Health Boiling Springs Cohort, are place-based responses to an alarming local public health statistic. In 2017, more than one in four Spartanburg County adults reported no leisure-time physical activity and 31% of adults were obese. Higher levels of physical activity are associated with places where walking and bicycling is not only a regular recreational activity but also a safe and convenient means of transportation.

Heart of Boiling Springs advocates for a built environment (buildings, streets, open spaces, and infrastructure) that supports active-living in daily routines. We know that change is necessary to increase opportunities for healthy living in Boiling Springs. In 2017, we participated in learning experiences to better understand how a community’s built environment impacts public health; how quality public spaces contribute to people’s health, happiness, and well-being; and how land planning for development can either support or create real barriers for active, healthy lifestyles. We hosted a preliminary planning charrette to collect information on our community’s assets, needs, and preferences and engaged area residents to complete “intercept” and preference surveys at local events, including sporting events at the BSYAA ball fields. The charrette, facilitated by Boiling Springs resident and Toole Design Group Regional Manager Ernie Boughman, engaged local community leaders and Spartanburg County planning staff.


char·rette /SHəˈret/ a meeting in which all stakeholders in a project attempt to resolve conflicts and map solutions.

Our efforts in 2017 and hopes for 2018 were validated when Upstate Forever secured additional funding
from the Mary Black Foundation for Heart of Boiling Springs to build organizational capacity and engage
the broader Boiling Springs community. Our mission is to inspire transformation of the Boiling Springs
community through mindful growth and development that supports convenient choices for active,
healthy lifestyles. Our vision is for a vibrant, connected, and healthy Boiling Springs that attracts
families, businesses, and institutions who contribute to building our community by embracing health,
and, in doing so, leave a legacy for future generations. The Heart of Boiling Springs website and
Facebook page are up and our marketing volunteers share information and updates on our efforts
through these sites. Our goal this year is to extend our reach deeper into the community through a
process to develop and advance a shared, community-driven vision for Boiling Springs.

Spartanburg County Council candidates talk planning for Boiling Springs

Go Upstate:  By Bob Montgomery Posted May 24, 2018 at 8:14 AMUpdated May 24, 2018 at 8:14 AM Both District 2 candidates for Spartanburg County...

WRTH Interview Recording on HOBS and Upcoming Workshops

EarthChangers  Published on Mar 13, 2018 Sherry Barrett talks about Heart of Boiling Springs, a group of concerned citizens who want to address the future growth of the Boiling Springs area, and upcoming workshops addressing...

Why Do Some Communities Develop As Walkable Places?

December 27, 2016 / in Healthy Eating | Active Living /by Guest Blogger Today’s blog is written by Sherry Barrett, Project Manager – Sustainable Communities with Upstate Forever. Many of us can identify with the frustration of traffic congestion,...

How to Make Land-Use Policies Better for Women, Families, Caregivers and Older Adults

Professor Mildred Warner Over the decades, communities have developed with a focus on segregating housing from commercial uses, with attention given to the role of the commuting worker. ... Our zoning guidelines have traditionally promoted segregated land...

What’s the future of Boiling Springs – SHJ Mar 9 2018

By Elise Franco Staff Writer - Spartanburg Herald Journal Posted Mar 9, 2018 at 6:11 PM Updated Mar 9, 2018 at 6:12 PM Drive down Highway 9 through Boiling Springs, and you’re bound to notice all the new restaurants and housing subdivisions. Community...

Spartanburg Blooming

In this blog series, Harkrader describes Area Performance Zoning currently in development for the SW Region of the County.  It is anticipated that plan will serve as a template for other regions in the coming months - including the Central Region that...

Growing Healthier Places in Spartanburg County Begins With Community Visioning

March 6, 2018/in Healthy Eating | Active Living /by Guest Blogger Today’s blog is written by Sherry Barrett, Community Design & Land Planning Manager for Upstate Forever. Last year 25% of Spartanburg County residents reported inadequate...

New Lifestyle Center Planned for Boiling Springs

This is one of the properties and one of the opportunities that Heart of Boiling Springs is deeply interested and involved in.  New lifestyle center...

Sprawl is a choice we can control

Sprawl, good or bad, can have serious implications for taxpaying citizens. from: GoUpstate 2/25/2018 Is sprawl bad? It is virtually everywhere outside our downtowns and historic neighborhoods. Asheville Highway, Highway 9 and even emerging on...

Workshops planned to lay out vision for Boiling Springs – GoUpstate By Bob Montgomery Staff Writer February 22, 2018 Posted at 6:24 PM Updated at 6:24 PM Kelley Ezell grew up in Boiling Springs and has seen...

Go Upstate: 

“I would like to see Boiling Springs continue to grow with a plan in moderation,” said Jack Mabry with Jack Mabry Allstate Insurance in Boiling Springs.

Mabry is facing William Crawford, who owns a self-storage business, in the June 12 Republican primary. With no Democrat running, the winner will succeed outgoing District 2 Councilman Justin Bradley, also a Republican.

“It should grow as an unincorporated area of Spartanburg County,” Crawford said. “We need community involvement and input to shape the vision of the area, and updated county ordinances to drive continuity among new developments.”

A community group called Heart of Boiling Springs has held workshops to gather input from residents on how they want the unincorporated area of nearly 7 square miles and 10,000 residents to grow. Many have cited traffic concerns along Highway 9, the main thoroughfare that routinely sees delays during rush hour. Overall, residents said they’d like to see more things to do, including a movie theater, bowling alley and a YMCA, all while retaining the community’s rural charm.

Organizers of the workshops plan to provide residents’ input to county planners who will eventually bring Area Performance Planning to Boiling Springs. The southwestern part of Spartanburg County was the first area to receive Area Performance Planning, which created two different districts there — one to restrict development in rural areas and another that is more accommodating to commercial and industrial development.

Boiling Springs could be next in line for such a plan. The county’s goal is for eventually all part of Spartanburg County to have performance zoning.

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