Rotary project blooms at Herman Park
By Steve Herring
Published in News on July 29, 2010 1:46 PM
Three Eagles Rotary Club member Tom Bradshaw spreads topsoil around a newly-planted azalea bush in Herman Park.
A Herman Park flower garden area that first bloomed more than 60 years ago will flower again thanks to the Three Eagles Rotary Club.
Club members said that in addition to sprucing up the park, the project also is a way to pay tribute to the late Roy Parker Sr., who served for more than 30 years as superintendent of streets and parks for the city of Goldsboro.
And it is exactly the kind of community support that is welcomed as a way to improve and maintain city parks, said Marion Bradford of the city Parks and Recreation Department.
The area was originally planted with 500 roses by the Goldsboro Men's Garden Club in the late 1940s. In 1951, Parker's family dedicated an area in his honor with an engraved concrete bench. Two other benches were added later.
"It is a great beautification project," Bradford said. "It had been needed to do for sometime, but we couldn't do it for lack of funds.
The project was the outgrowth of the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards program. Three Eagles Rotary Club sponsored Goldsboro High School juniors Cortiez Sprangler and Trebor Jackson Jr. in the program.
In that that program, students develop a project. That project this year was to enhance a particular area in the community and the area selected was the Roy Parker Sr. Memorial Garden at Herman Park, said Rotary Club member Larry Johnson.
Johnson said club members spoke with Goldsboro Parks and Recreation Department officials and came up with a plan.
Originally, the club had looked at doing some work around the park gazebo. However, because of the appearance of the flower garden and Parker's long association with the city it seemed more appropriate to work in the garden area, Johnson said.
The plan was to renovate the area, using 25 azaleas and an oak tree. Work started about 8 a.m. on July 17 and was completed about three hours later.
The city provided the tools, water hose and went back later to spread $250 worth of pine straw.
The cost was $750, of which $500 was donated by Three Eagles Rotary Club and $250 provided by the city. The Parker family is securing funds of roughly $270 for a new plaque that will read, "Refurbished azalea bed by Three Eagles Rotary and Goldsboro Parks and Recreation in 2010."
The project included spreading topsoil and preparing ground for the 25 azalea plants and tree. Also installed was 50 feet of irrigation pipeline.
Jason Pate of Casey's Landscaping supervised the planting, along with Bradford.
The Parker family also became interested in the project and wanted to be a part of it, Johnson said.
Club members helped and also got assistance from about 15 members of the Goldsboro High School football team.
"It turned out to be a great community-oriented project. It gave the football players a sense of accomplishment. I told one of them that, 'One day you can bring your grandchild here and say I helped plant that tree.'"
Johnson said it was the club's first project at the park, but that other projects will be planned.
The Rotary youth program is a leadership program for young men and women. Its purpose is to encourage and assist current and potential youth leaders in methods of responsible and effective leadership. The program is open to high school junior who have excelled in one or more areas of high school involvement and have potential or proven leadership.
The Three Eagles Rotary Club was chartered in 1995 with the support of the Goldsboro Rotary Club.
"We are a close, energetic, fun-loving group of Rotarians comprised largely of former military, medical, education professionals," Johnson said.
The club meets on Wednesdays at 7 a.m. at the Wayne Memorial Hospital cafeteria.
Community support is welcome and anyone with ideas or who is interested in a park project should contact department director Rubin Wells, Bradford said.
Bradford said that the next local project will involve teenager Tyler Pearson, who is working on his Eagle Scout project by building a bridge over the ditch in Stoney Creek Park near the dead end of Durant Street.