SALISBURY, N.C. — After two years of construction and four years of private fundraising and planning, Bell Tower Green Park in Salisbury is officially opening to the community on Friday.
Officials say the construction fence that has surrounded the park for more than a year will be taken down Friday morning, and it is anticipated that the public will have access to the park by midday.
President of Bell Tower Green, Inc. Dyke Messinger describes the grand opening as a milestone that has been long in the making.
Messinger says “Our board of directors and donors have been dreaming about this day for several years and we are just elated that it looks like we are going to have a beautiful weekend to finally allow the community to come explore its new park.”
Officials say the park was previously set to open on Friday, September 10th, but concerns over COVID-19 prompted canceling its grand opening as well as its Pops at the Post event to be held the next day.
Instead of opening right away, officials say this extra time allowed them to complete a few of the previously unfinished tasks and gave the recently planted grass a chance to grow roots.
Salisbury Parks and Recreation Director Nick Aceves is also ecstatic about the opening of Salisbury’s newest park.
Aceves says “We are ready to finally see our citizens able to enjoy the beautiful new green space, interactive water wall, splashpad, and play area that we have been watching come out of the ground the past two years. We have a good team in place to take over management of the park, and we are grateful for the partnership we have had with the Bell Tower Green board to get to this point.”
Officials say the City of Salisbury Parks and Recreation staff and Public Works Department will take over maintenance and management of the new park immediately, but work will continue on the park for the foreseeable future.
Aceves says “There are several odds and ends that will continue to be worked on in the coming weeks and months to finish off some of the work that just couldn’t get completed before now for various reasons. But we did not want the public to have to wait a day longer than necessary to get the park open. We ask the public to bear with us in the weeks ahead as we continue installation and replacement work in the park while it is open.”
Messinger says although they had hoped to open the park sooner, it was more important to cultivate a place where the community felt safe.
Messenger says “The permitting process and installation of some of our amenities took longer than expected, but our goal has always been to bring down the fence as soon as it was safe to do so. We have been saying that this park is about ‘cultivating community,’ and that can only happen when people can actually start enjoying it. We are ready to see this new park and our community flourish.”
The park will be open from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m., with bathrooms closing at dusk and hours likely to fluctuate in the future.
For more information call 704-216-PLAY or visit www.belltowergreen.com.