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‘Own a Piece of the Park’ project still in effectBy Lauren Allen
Around the Town Editor
The Town and Gown Committee is increasing the amount needed to support the “Own a Piece of the Park” project from $100,000 to $200,000.
This project, which originally started about two years ago, is designed to beautify and promote the town of Pembroke by redesigning the layout of the park, which is located on the corner of 3rd Street and Odom Road.
After reaching its first goal of $100,000, the Town and Gown Committee decided more money would be needed to carry out any potential plans.
Dr. Diane O. Jones, chair of the Town and Gown Committee, has taken this project under her wing and believes that as her hometown, Pembroke just needs a little bit of a facelift, starting with the park.
Features of the park will include two brick walkways: Ancestor’s Way and Veteran’s Way.
Ancestor’s Way will be the main thoroughfare through the park and will include the names of the founders of Pembroke, and those who sacrificed to build the town of Pembroke, along with the names of the past and present leaders of Pembroke.
Veteran’s Way will be entirely devoted to displaying the names of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for Pembroke families and their freedom.
“It will be a piece of our history out there,” explains Jones on the importance of including the town’s rich history in the newly designed park.
Members of the community have, and are still able, to purchase bricks along these walkways to honor and memorialize a loved one by inscribing their name on it.
According to Jones, about $16,000 has been raised already by the selling of these bricks.
Other features of the park will include a modern playground area, lush greenery, modernized restroom facilities, additional lighting and electrical outlets, wrought iron fencing around the park area and a water feature.
The park is also designed to be as maintenance free as possible.
Community members will be responsible for the up keep of the park once it’s finished.
Metcon Construction has been hired to work with the Town and Gown Committee on redesigning the park, along with Mike Clark, a local architect.
They’re estimated to break ground sometime near the end of April.
The park will be completely wiped out and the construction team will start from scratch.
As for current park users, the park will be closed to the public while construction is under way.
Jones estimates the park will be complete by the end of 2006, and as of right now, the Town and Gown Committee is trying to find temporary space for the children to play.
Not only does this project help beautify Pembroke, but it also offers a chance for UNCP to interact and get involved with the community.
“It’s a good link between UNCP and the town. The town is growing and so is UNCP. I just feel like it’s a really good partnership,” explains Jones.
And not only will a better looking park benefit the town of Pembroke, but it will also aid in recruiting more students to UNCP by promoting a prettier, more respectable atmosphere.
“I believe in this project. It is particularly gratifying because of the great positive influence it will have on the University, the town and the greater community,” said UNCP Chancellor Allen C. Meadors.
Many organizations throughout Pembroke have donated money for this project.
Lumbee Bank made a $15,000 donation and will have their name on the water feature.
Burger King purchased a spot on the gathering pavilion for $10,000 and with a $5,000 donation the Pembroke Area Chamber of Commerce will have their name on the playground recreation area.
School organizations have become involved with this project and the SGA bought a brick to help Jones and the rest of her committee, as well as the town of Pembroke, reach its $200,000 goal.
Those interested in buying a brick or donating money should contact the chamber office for more details.