06/22/08 — Stoney Creek Park Alliance to host three community forums

View Archive

Stoney Creek Park Alliance to host three community forums

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on June 22, 2008 2:02 AM

The community will soon have a chance to comment on and ask questions about the plans for Stoney Creek Park.

The Stoney Creek Park Alliance will hold three community meetings starting July 17 at Herman Park Center. The second meeting will be held Aug. 19 at W.A. Foster Center, and the third will be held on Aug. 20 at the City Hall Addition in the large conference room. All meetings will begin at 7 p.m.

One of the biggest and most controversial elements proposed for the park early on isn't in this set of plans.

In Phase 1, there won't be a lake.

Why? Because the public and the alliance don't see it as a top priority as other items in the park, Parks and Recreation Director Sonya Shaw said.

The Parks and Recreation Department recently conducted a survey of what Goldsboro citizens would like to see more of in parks and recreational facilities, and in December, the results came rolling in.

Coming in at No. 1 was walking trails, an element that alliance members say won't take much time or money to do.

Followed close behind at No. 2 was a fishing area with a lake/pond feature at third, but the alliance is holding off on those areas.

"Since the alliance presented a green space concept to the community in 2006, we have spent some time determining the best direction to make the concept a reality. The lake feature initially garnered the majority of attention, even though it was only one of the possibilities considered for the park," Alliance Chairman Dr. Peter Roethling said. "This tended to overshadow the true purpose and nature of Stoney Creek Park's development -- to create a natural outdoor environment that offers the community a number of recreational activities otherwise not available in the city."

Picnic shelters, an amph-itheater and gardens weren't far behind on the survey, Mrs. Shaw said.

The alliance is looking into a picnic shelter for the area, but would like to have something a little more nature-oriented and different from typical shelters. The first phase of the park will likely also include a garden area.

Alliance members want to make Stoney Creek Park a more usable place sooner.

"Currently, the alliance is considering a number of very feasible and lower-cost elements that can draw a healthy amount and variety of people into the park," Roethling said.

For now, a dog park, a popular item in other area cities, is planned for the park. There will be areas for both large and small dogs and an unleashed area.

Walking paths, a children's interpretive area, disc golf and Spanish oak tree identification will also be pieces of the first part of the park plan, along with restroom facilities, landscaping and fencing.

All of these are projects that don't include such a hefty undertaking, both physically and financially, committee members said.

The alliance also wants to preserve the natural beauty of the wetland area, which is deemed a protected area by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The park will have a wetland identification area where people can learn and see what a wetland is comprised of and what organisms it commonly features. The plan is to have a bridge over the wetlands to serve as a viewing area.

Alliance members decided to complete the project in phases to help ensure that smaller projects are done correctly and in the right order.

Roethling said he hopes these community meetings will get everyone in the community on board and excited about the park and the current projects.

"The success of the park and its potential to improve the quality of life in Goldsboro depends on the ability of
individuals, groups and
businesses to contribute whatever efforts and resources are at their
disposal," Roethling said.