The Don Ryan Center for Innovation broke ground Nov. 14 on its new facility in Buckwalter Place Commerce Park. The center’s mission is to build a business-friendly community for entrepreneurs and attract core target industries. The facility will house the DRCI business incubator, offer high tech co-working and meeting space, and serve as the Town of Bluffton’s economic development headquarters. Buckwalter Place Commerce Park includes eviCore Healthcare, Southeastern Development, Regency Centers, St. Joseph Candler, and Technical College of the Lowcountry Culinary Arts. The Don Ryan Center building will be adjacent to the new Kroger Market Place, which is under construction now.

Bluffton finally has a place for dogs to run free, socialize and play in a safe, enclosed area.

After 12 long years, the town finally has its first dog park, holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 7 at the park in Oscar Frazier Park — a ceremony attended by Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka, area residents and excited pups.

An agreement between the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office and the Bluffton Police Department was approved by Bluffton Town Council in November, which allows Bluffton police to make arrests or give out tickets on the May River. The Marine Patrol Memorandum of Understanding gives Bluffton officers all powers and authority of law enforcement in waters adjacent to the town, which were previously considered out of their jurisdiction. Those waters include the May River, New River, Cauley’s Creek and parts of the Cooper River.

Society of Bluffton Artists and the Lowcountry Autism Foundation will offer free art therapy classes to Beaufort County children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The free classes will be held in the Center for Creative Arts building next to the SOBA Gallery in Old Town Bluffton. Art therapy pairs the creativity of making art with counseling to improve and to enhance physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Art therapy services are free for Lowcountry Autism Foundation members. For more information, go to www.lafinc.org.

Shaded by live oaks and nestled beside Campbell Chapel A.M.E. Church, Bluffton Boundary celebrates the culture of Old Town Bluffton — the art and history that give the town its identity.

That culture is on clear display at the new center: A colorful mural stretches from the building almost to the street, painted at a paint-by-numbers party over the summer by local residents, and picnic tables dot the sandy yard for monthly gatherings that celebrate the region’s Gullah heritage.

The Bluffton Police Department is actively recruiting motivated and ambitious men and women to become police officers. Individuals interested in applying, or who have additional questions about the hiring process and what the job entails, are invited to an open house from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Bluffton Police Department. For more information: 843-706-4550

aplicationThe town of Bluffton is seeking applicants for its neighborhood assistance program, which offers repairs to homes and properties of low- to moderate-income residents. The program, which is operated through the town of Bluffton’s Affordable Housing Committee, helps with repairs for things like leaking roofs, unstable floors and failing septic tanks or removing unsafe structures from a resident’s property. Applicants must have an income that does not exceed 60 percent of the median income for Beaufort County. For more information, call 843-706-7818 or email bmole@townofbluffton.com.

The Town of Bluffton plans to use three parcels of land for affordable housing and workforce housing projects in the coming years. The town recently bought 1.78 acres at 1095 May River Road, where up to 14 housing units are planned. At the former site of Cross Fit 843, at 184 Bluffton Road, several two-story townhouses, a small park, and public parking spaces will be constructed.

Field of DreamsThe Bluffton Community Center Foundation received a $67,000 grant from Community Foundation of the Lowcountry to help cover the cost of Phase II of the Field of Dreams Park Improvement Project. Construction in Phase II will include the addition of a covered pavilion with restrooms, picnic tables and an art wall to showcase local artists’ talents.

bluffton roadTen Bluffton families now have an easier time driving to their homes after local businesses helped fund road improvements on Martha Brown Circle. Business that contributed were: Capt. Woody’s; Sigler’s Rotisserie & Seafood; Davis and Wine Dental Associates, LLC; Bluffton Non-Profit Housing Corporation; Garfield Moss, Jr. and Moss Landscapes; Morris Garage & Towing, Inc; Power Group, LLC; All Pro Tire & Lube Center; The Dispensary, LLC; Michael Hahn of Carson Realty; Waste Management; Cleland Construction; and Essroc. The dirt road was graded and resurfaced with gravel.