On Friday, November 1, Friends of the Valdese Rec hosted an event to celebrate the grants, donations, volunteer hours and participation given to Valdese Lakeside Park.
Mayor Black kicked off the evening thanking Friends of the Valdese Rec for making things happen. He talked about a conference he attended where the speaker promoted – “small towns can be saved by their own people using their own resources.” And not be be brought down by CAVE people (Citizens Against Virtually Everything). For more on this topic – https://saveyour.town/ . He went on to discuss how green space and parks are important to saving small towns and Valdese is fortunate to have volunteers creating a 300 acre park.
Parks and Recreation Director Doug Knight presented the specifics of the development of Valdese Lakeside Park Phase 1. Due to Federal Funding limitations, the Town of Valdese did not received the bridge grant for 2019. Without that financial assistance, the better option is to put all our donations into the Phase 1 amenity development and work for the bridge in the next phase. There is a need for items such as signage, landscaping and connecting paths/green areas that were not a part of the grant money – that we will now be able to cover with our donations. Phase 1 amenities will be restrooms, picnic area, dog park, wildlife viewing platform, kayak launch, walking trail to viewing platform, parking, entry road, greenway. No town money will be used on the development of Valdese Lakeside Park Phase 1.
FVR President Beth Heile summarized how the community has been so generous with donations of time and money. Even using the park and telling others about the park is a big help!!
Total Donations – Including land appraisal in June 2015, land purchase in Jan 2018 and amenities coming in 2020.
Private Donations: $653,237
Total Project: $2,111,484
Total Volunteer hours at VLP after January 31, 2018 closing (not events, just work)
2018: 330 hours
2019: 314 hours (so far)
Dedicated Volunteers were also recognized – Bob and Susan, Debbie and Sam, Don and Joyce, Jeff Zimmer, Kim and Trey, Mark, Eric and Zakk, Lisa, Tom, Roy, James, Rachel, Rick, Spence and Jayne, Mike B, Pat