in Geezer, Parks and Rec, Politics, Raleigh

Highlights of 2012: Parks board fun

The year 2012 was the start of my second year as chair of Raleigh’s Parks, Recreation, and Greenway Advisory Board (PRGAB). It’s been a busy year, too, I might add.

I continued to speak on behalf of the board at a number of park dedications and groundbreakings, among them the House Creek Greenway Dedication, Carolina Pines Community Center, Jaycees Community Center Dedication, Five Points Center for Active Adults Dedication, Buffalo Road Aquatic Center Dedication, Anne Gordon Center for Active Adults Dedication, Historic Chavis Carousel Groundbreaking, Method Road Playground Dedication, the “Function at the Junction” where Wake Forest’s greenway meets Raleigh’s, and probably a few other events I’m forgetting. It seems that these have become so routine that I don’t even blog about every one!

Also in 2012, my service on the Mordecai Historic Park Advisory Board (MHPAB) ended with the dissolution of that board. The end of this board came more suddenly than I anticipated and, frankly, I found I greatly missed it. There wasn’t much important work that got done in the early days of my service but that all changed when plans were being implemented to build a long-awaited interpretive center.

I’ve blogged before about the interpretive center and its controversy so I won’t rehash that here. Fortunately, 2012 provided an unexpected yet ideal solution when a longtime neighbor of the park passed away and his estate agreed to sell his home to the city. The park expanded beyond its original boundary, the Parks department got a building for its center, and the neighbors were happy, too.

Of course, the biggest news of 2012 was December’s news about the Dix property being leased to the city. A few months prior I had heard rumors that a deal was in the works. Since these rumors had been flying for many years, though, I didn’t consider them that important. Boy was I happy to be wrong!

I tagged along for a Dix press conference and met a lot of the long-time Dix park advocates. Since the paperwork was signed I have been invited to join one of these Dix advocacy groups. I have been already planning to play as big a role in the park process as I can so one way or another I will be involved.

Kelly and I actually toured the Dix campus this afternoon and I kept shaking my head in disbelief that all this property would be a park. Incredible!

As you can see, last year was an incredible year for my Parks board service. I can only hope the last months of my chairmanship can live up to my prior service!