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$782K committed!

August 23, 2016

In a few weeks (almost one month exactly – September 26), the City of Spartanburg City Council will discuss additional parks and recreation investments in our community. As part of that process, Partners for Active Living will request final approval and endorsement of the proposed Rail Trail park (we need an official name for that thing). As we get closer to that date, please check back with us because we will be requesting assistance in advocating for this project.

So where are we on the project?! Here is a summary –

The Need

Thanks to a partnership with the national play-focused organization Kaboom, PAL, Mary Black Foundation, and the City of Spartanburg discovered that the area is considered a ‘high need play desert’. PAL is working with nearby residents and community leaders to create a collective vision for the space that invites the community, especially children and families, to play and gather

PAL feels that this park will be different from others in our community:
1. The City does not have a park other than Barnet Park that is outside of a neighborhood. Neighborhood parks are very important to health so that families can walk to places to play and so play is convenient. However, there also needs to be a community park where children from across the County can gather together and this will do just that.

2. The park will provide an outlet for families with children of all ages but especially those with older children that need amenities beyond what is currently offered.

In a study published by Active Living Research, an arm of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, it stated that “We conclude that children with better access to parks and recreational resources are less likely to experience significant increases in attained BMI.” (A Longitudinal Cohort Study. Health & Place, 17(1), 207-214))

Community Partners

  • City of Spartanburg, Pacolet Milliken, Group of 100, Duke Energy, Leadership Spartanburg, Motivus Crossfit
  • MBF Rail Trail users and nearby neighborhoods
  • Funding partners: Mary Black Foundation, City of Spartanburg, Balmer Foundation, Foundation for the Carolinas, Women Giving for Spartanburg, Wades Restaurant, Junior League of Spartanburg, White Oak Manor, Dave Edwards, Romill Foundation, individuals
  • Opportunities for more: MANY! Youth sports leagues, volunteer groups interested in landscaping, discussions with organizations like Spartanburg Science Center

The Design & Where We Are

To date Partners for Active Living has raised $782,000. Based on the construction bid that we have received, we believe that it will fund the following amenities.

  • Grading, final site preparation
  • Paved, natural internal trails; boardwalk
  • The Great Lawn (size of U11 soccer field), irrigation
  • Benches, two small shelters near the field, water misting station, fitness stations
  • Entrance trolley, bricked plaza
  • Electrical, landscaping
  • Amphitheater

Unfunded amenities include:

  • Treehouse park
  • Mountain biking trails
  • NFL Play 60 obstacle/ adventure playground
  • Rail Trail bathroom facilities

Timeline – we frequently get asked when dirt will move, and we hope that the answer is no later than October 2016!! Right now we are working on final design and engineering tweaks and permitting.

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