Over 80 people gathered at the new 300 acre lakeside property for a ribbon cutting that has been 3 years in the making. It was a perfect day with the temperature around 72 degrees, sunny and a bit windy.
Friends of the Valdese Rec provided trail mix, trail tours and bottled water. Bruce Bingham provided transportation for those unable to walk to the site.
Parks and Rec Director Doug Knight lead the ceremony that included the following speakers
- Valdese Mayor Chip Black – spoke about the economic impact the park will have on the Town of Valdese.
- NC Senator Warren Daniel – had written letters of support to grant officials and spoke about how important it is to leave a gift like this land to future generations.
- NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund – Walter Clark, Director – awarded the $673K grant to help purchase the land.
- Judy Francis, Recreation Resource Specialist, NC State Parks – helped with the PARTF grant application for $300k
- Mark Rostan, Rostan Family Foundation – gave examples of how the community is invested in this park and how parks generated revenue for other towns. The RFF donated $300k to the land purchase.
- Chris Rice, Kellex Seating – a company that is always giving back and all employees are treated like family. Their $100k went to land and amenities.
- Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge, Drew Thomas – a great partner to the area, $50k will go to park amentities.
- Michelle Wells, Executive Director of NC Recreation & Park Association (NCRPA)
- Tom Kenney with Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina helped with the purchase negotiation, the CWMTF grant and general navigation of the process.
- NC Representative Hugh Blackwell
- Beth Heile, President of Friends of the Valdese Rec – said that “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. (Martin Luther King, Jr.) Because the community “Believed” and did not give up, together we made the land purchase happen. Now, let’s build a park. ” She invited everyone back in 2-3 years for the ribbon cutting for amenities.