Greensboro’s new regional park calls all ages
Greensboro, N.C., opened the first phase of a new regional park last month on 138 acres that previously housed the city’s plant nursery operation. Keeley Park, the need for which was first identified 14 years ago, offers a variety of active and passive recreational features to residents.
Keeley Park fills a recreational void in the northeastern portion of the city that was identified in the city’s 1998 Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Voters approved a bond in 2000 to fund recreational projects throughout the city, and a few years later, planning for Keeley Park began. The Master Plan for the park, developed by Charlotte, N.C.-based Site Solutions, was approved in August 2007, and construction began in August 2010 on the first phase, using bond funding and a $500,000 grant from the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund.
The park’s centerpiece is a sprayground with interactive zero-depth water features, including a towering water barrel that overflows to drench anyone beneath it, and a water-spewing frog and fish. Nearby picnic tables, a concessions building and restrooms complete the sprayground area. Adjacent to the sprayground are two playgrounds with swings, a climbing apparatus, bridges, slides and winding tubes.
Near the entrance to the park is the city’s third community garden located on city property. It has 35 plots that residents can rent for $25 to grow vegetables, fruits and flowers. A large greenhouse offers room to grow seedlings, and tool storage sheds secure gardeners’ equipment.
Keeley Park also includes two ponds and paved nature trails. To complete the park’s Master Plan, future phases call for construction of a corporate picnic area with a multi-purpose field, dog park, disk golf course, ropes course, volleyball courts and a playground. An active recreation area is planned that will include four baseball/softball fields, a small playground and a 1-mile mountain bike training course. When funding is available for the next phases, the city will solicit public input before moving ahead with construction.