Grand Marshal of DHS Homecoming Parade

Friends of the Valdese Rec was selected as the Grand Marshal of the Draughn High School Homecoming parade.  The school is excited about what the Valdese Lakeside Park will bring to them for educational, athletic and service opportunities. We were thrilled to be recognized with this honor and rode the Lovelady Fire Department Fire Truck!!

For the homecoming and parade full store


Destination By Design Chosen for Master Park Plan

At the October Council Meeting, Eric Woolridge of Destination by Design presented their service options and what they could offer the Town of Valdese in a Master Park Plan. Beth Heile, President of Friends of the Valdese Rec, spoke in support of selecting DbD as the design firm. The Valdese Town Council voted in favor.

Friends of the Valdese Rec, Inc. and the Town of Valdese will split the cost of the Master Park Plan.

Why do we need a master park design plan?

  • To ensure we follow the restrictions of the grants – ex: clean water – we cannot upset areas with endangered plants. If we break the restrictions, we will forfeit the money.
  • To be eligible for future amenities grants – agencies want to see a master plan to show that you know where the money will be used.
  • To make the park a “destination” that people will want to visit again and again. The plan will include branding, styling and a cohesive look.
  • To be able to host regional and state events for disc golf, cross country, mountain bike and the like by meeting specs of each organization.
  • To help with fundraising – know cost of large items for naming rights, unique display of individual donors.
  • To have a layout for volunteers to come in and do the manual labor – if you had every group on the land trying to build their own trail (bike, hike, disc golf) – it would be chaos.

Tennis Courts Demolished

After more than a year of discussion, at the October Council meeting, the vote passed to tear down the courts. The tennis courts at McGalliard Falls have now been demolished (pic Oct 20) and grass will be planted. The courts could not be repaired  – rebuilding was the only option for courts  – which is very expensive. With courts at the Rec and at DHS, the town did not feel the courts needed to be replaced.

The town did look for other options. In September, 2016 FVR brought Deno Contos from Benchmark Trails to quote putting a pump track in the space. However, the cost of tearing up the courts was too much in addition to the cost of the pump track. (The pump track will hopefully be a feature of the Valdese Lakeside Park.)

Before that, in June 2016, FVR presented theses ideas with detail pros and cons for each…

Cover up/Remove the existing surface – Pump Track, Move Volleyball Court and have larger grass area at Picnic shelter, Dog Park

Patching and painting the surface – other net sports, mini-soccer (futsel), multi-use as is, basketball, four square, shuffle board, putt-putt

Valdese Lakeside Park Update – Sept

Where are we now?

We have the money to purchase the 300 acres on Lake Rhodhiss. The closing on the land will be by January 31, 2018.

  • The Town of Valdese was awarded 2 grants from the state – PARTF ($300K) and CWMTF ($676K).
  • The remaining amount needed to purchase the land will be covered by the Rostan Family Foundation ($300K) and Kellex Seating ($100K).

What is next?

  • Meetings will be scheduled to gather input from donors and the community on what features the park should include.
  • A master park plan will be created including amenities desired with pricing and time line for completion.
  • Continue Fundraising for Park Amemities

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Valdese Parks are Gems in More Ways Than One

Valdese parks (our hidden gems) are used everyday for recreation and relaxing – nothing new. The recent crowds at our parks are new. This is thanks to the phone app Pokémon Go. In the game, several of our parks serve as Pokémon  Stops (where virtual goodies are collected) and Pokémon Gyms where battles against Pokémon characters are fought.

In July, the feature of a group raid was added. Depending on the strength of a Pokémon, winning a battle may require up to 20 people to be on location working together.

These group raids, taking 5-20 minutes on site, have brought people together from all walks of life. From kids to war veterans to business owners to line workers to hospital employees to teachers.

With players meeting almost daily over the past weeks, bonds have been created as they learn more about each other. Some players spill their story upon a first meeting. Some take weeks to share a single detail. Players then run into fellow Pokémon trainers (as they are called in the game) at work, school and while running errands. They have helped each other get jobs, learn about different life options (from tips to starting middle school to joining Toastmasters), and reach other personal successes.

The social time with these new and unexpected friendships has been an amazing “feature” of the game.

Thankfully, the Town of Valdese and the Parks and Rec Department are welcoming to the players.  Folks from Valdese and Morganton enjoy spending time at these gyms.  And, Valdese is benefiting from their need of gas and snacks while they are here.

Summer Raffle Winners




The drawing for the winners of our Summer Raffle took place on Saturday, August 13 at 2pm. $1250 was raised for the Valdese Lakeside Park Project. Thanks to Appalachian Mountain Sports for donating the mountain bike (value $350), Wal-Mart for donating the $75 gift card and Rural King for donating the $25 gift card.

The first ticket drawn went to Steve Kiddy. As the first ticket, he had his choice of any of the 3 items and selected the gift card combo.

Bud Sweezy’s ticket was the second drawn and he wanted the mountain bike – which was his dream prize.

The last ticket was that of Gene Tucker and he received the kayak. FVR members delivered the kayak to his home.

Thank you to all those who purchase a raffle ticket (or several) this summer.

Splash Park – You Made it Happen!!

Are you excited about the new splash park that will open on Tuesday, July 18? If so, thank your neighbor!

Input from the community made this park happen. Here are a few examples:

1) The Parks and Rec Comprehensive Plan, based on a written survey and 3 focus group meetings in December, 2012, found that people wanted a park downtown with splash pad, playground and picnic area – and they wanted the exercise options at the Rec expanded (which the multi-purpose building will allow).

2) After trouble with bids the project was almost canceled. At the August 2016 Town Council Meeting, a vote was to be held as to whether the town should get a loan to go forward or cancel the project.  20 people attended the meeting in support and 5 community members spoke during the open forum. Due to the community input, the council voted unanimously to approve the loan to complete the splash park and multipurpose building.

3) In December, 2016, the community was invited to meet with Doug Knight, Director of Valdese Parks and Rec, to provide feedback on the playground choices for the park. There were options from 3 companies. Those at the meeting helped make the decision!

The Town of Valdese listens!

Get involved, answer surveys, attend meetings, make things happen.

More about the opening