Community Visioning

Heart of Boiling Springs

In October of 2018, Upstate Forever completed a two-year grassroots citizen education and community visioning initiative in Boiling Springs, a rapidly developing bedroom community in unincorporated Spartanburg County.

The citizen-led community group Heart of Boiling Springs will continue to lead efforts to ensure the initiative's outcomes inform future Area Performance Planning for the Central Region of Spartanburg County.

A summary of the process and outputs was presented to Spartanburg County Council on Oct. 15, 2018 and is available below, along with the full report. Many thanks to all who participated!



about Heart of Boiling Springs

Made possible through Mary Black Foundation grant funding and a partnership with Upstate Family Resource Center, Heart of Boiling Springs is an outgrowth of Upstate Forever’s 2017 Building a Healthy Boiling Springs Cohort (see below).

Upstate Forever and Heart of Boiling Springs worked in partnership with Spartanburg County to achieve a shared vision for this area that promotes public health and community vibrancy.

Area residents, businesses and other stakeholders attended two public workshops in March and April of 2018 to express their thoughts about how they want the Boiling Springs Community to grow. The survey process included two public workshops, five on-site meetings at different locations, 18 stakeholder meetings with groups and public utilities, and feedback from more than 500 participants.

The video below presents a summary of the results from the two workshops. 

Learn more about the results of the process here.

To learn more about Heart of Boiling Springs, go to or visit the group's Facebook page.

Building a Healthy Boiling Springs (2017)

The Boiling Springs area is growing rapidly, and most development is predominently automobile-oriented. However, this kind of development pattern has some alarming impacts to public health.

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. 

Made possible by a grant from the Mary Black Foundation, the Building a Healthy Boiling Springs Cohort convened a small group of community stakeholders concerned bout the health and quality of life impacts of unbridled growth in the area. The group explored how they could help encourage a policy or project in Boiling Springs to support community health and long term prosperity.

The group underwent training to better understand the connection between the built environment—the buildings, transportation corridors, and physical networks that shape a community—and public health. Inspired by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Culture of Health Change Leaders program, Upstate Forever and the Upstate Family Resource Center partnered to convene this “Building a Healthy Boiling Springs” Cohort.

In late 2017, the Cohort expanded its outreach and launched its new brand “Heart of Boiling Springs: Building Community, Embracing Health, Leaving Legacy” to engage the community-at-large and dovetail their efforts with Spartanburg County's Area Performance Planning initiative.

For more information, contact Sherry Barrett, Land Policy Manager, at


Related Articles

Group to look at ways to encourage active living in Boiling Springs, from the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, February 8, 2017

Striving for a thriving community, from the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, January 15, 2017

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