McGalliard Falls 40th Anniversary

Gather at McGalliard Falls Park on Wednesday, October 5 at 1:15 at the picnic shelter for cake, punch and great stories.

It has been 40 years since McGalliard Falls Park was dedicated – October 5, 1982 with Governor Jim Hunt in attendance. Ray C. Fletcher was mayor at the time and Bob Greene was the Parks and Recreation Director.

School teacher Don Brittain’s sixth grade class at Valdese Elementary School wrote a letter to the Valdese Town Council in 1979 asking for McGalliard Falls to be saved. From there, as they say, the rest is history. Continue reading “McGalliard Falls 40th Anniversary”

Lunch and Learn Program

Friends of the Valdese Rec, Inc (FVR) is hosts a free monthly Lunch and Learn Program for Young at Hearts. Every third Thursday of the Month at Noon, FVR will provide lunch, time to socialize and a 15–20-minute program for those in the community who are retired or just interested. First United Methodist Church of Valdese is providing the space for the lunch event. Continue reading “Lunch and Learn Program”

Paint the Park 2022

Plein air event for oil, acrylic, watercolor, and pastel painters held at Valdese Lakeside Park
Up to 35 painters may register for this event – but no later than August 15th. Artists will create artwork from September 10th through September 15th. They will submit one entry from their week of work for judging on September 16th. Judging will take place during the morning on September 17th by a judge selected by the Rock Arts School Foundation Board of Directors.

Continue reading “Paint the Park 2022”

Story Trail Permanent – Hopefully

Which is more important – getting your kids outside or having them read a book?? Why not do both! With help from Pilot Club of Valdese, FVR is applying for a grant to make our temporary Story Trail permanent.

How it all started: FVR (with the help of The Mercer Family) donated 25 conservation themed children’s books to the Valdese Library in Feb 2020 to start a monthly Conservation Kids program. Then covid hit and the program never started. In the fall, FVR had some outdoor pop-up kid reading events as a try at the program, but with many still having concerns, attendance was low.

About the same time, FVR President Beth Heile saw where a local town was putting pages of a book in store fronts to bring shoppers to town. She thought the same thing could be done at Valdese Lakeside Park. To replace the pop-up group book events, in December 2020, FVR started the temporary story trail that families could visit at their convenience, and socially distance. It was a huge hit and families were begging for a new book each week. After 4 months, the park main entrance was closed for construction, but FVR picked up the Story Trail again in February 2022. Continue reading “Story Trail Permanent – Hopefully”

The Gap is Bridged

l-r: Paul Mears, Valdese Council; Brian Strong, NC State Parks Deputy Director; Rexanna Lowman, Valdese Council; Frances Hildebran, Valdese Council; Beth Heile, Friends of the Valdese Rec President; Reid Wilson, NC Secretary of Natural and Cultural Resources; Will Summer, NC Land and Water Fund Director, Charlie Watts, Valdese Mayor; David Andersen, Valdese Parks and Recreation Director

On a humid July morning, trail supporters gathered to celebrate the connection of Valdese Lakeside Park and McGalliard Falls Park with a new 160-foot bridge creating a 2 mile greenway trail. Continue reading “The Gap is Bridged”

Dog Park Grand Opening

Dogs can now run free in Valdese – at least in the new quarter acre Dog Park. At the park’s grand opening, sixty dogs frolicked freely in the grass as more than 100 people watched. The opening was the culmination of Friends of the Valdese Rec’s efforts over the past 18 months with fundraising and managing contractors. Continue reading “Dog Park Grand Opening”

Mural Dedication

Children’s Park in Valdese has a new interactive mural thanks to a local donor. Friends of the Valdese Rec (FVR) had been looking for a way to liven up Children’s Park in Valdese and thought a painted mural was the answer. After seeing Sam’s Recycled Art pieces around the area, FVR decided metal silhouettes of children with a painted background provided the ultimate solution. For funding, FVR spoke to members of the community until they found the perfect match. Continue reading “Mural Dedication”