Monday, April 1, 2013

A new/old park in the works?

The town of Seven Devils was not initially created to offer the standard "perks" of being a town. (Heck, it wasn't even conceived as a town but as a resort community.) But the town has changed its destiny over the years to that of a municipality. With that comes a responsibility to offer amenities, such as good roads, police protection and parks.

That's why it's nice to see Town Manager Ed Evans and his staff looking into the idea of finding land for new parks, according to the Watauga Democrat.

The town of Seven Devils is working to buy a nearly 10-acre tract complete with waterfall for use as a community park.
Town residents have been interested in the Otter Falls area for several years, but a previous attempt to buy it fell through. 
Now, the town is waiting to see whether a grant from the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund will aid in the purchase of the wooded parcel, said Town Manager Ed Evans.
"I think everybody would enjoy having this as an area where they could walk and picnic and just enjoy the scenic beauty of the waterfall itself," Evans said.
The land is located off Lillian Drive in Seven Devils, about a mile from the Town Hall. A path guides visitors through the steep forest toward Otter Falls, which drops about 10 or 12 feet off a boulder as Valley Creek sloshes downhill toward Foscoe.
The town is asking for $135,800 from PARTF, to be combined with a local government match of the same amount. Seven Devils should know in late May whether the PARTF grant is awarded, Evans said.
Evans said he's heard from numerous community members who have indicated a willingness to make donations toward the town's match. The town also might consider a short-term loan to secure its amount.
If the PARTF grant is not awarded, the deal likely won't happen, he said.
"Coming up with the full amount, I suspect everybody would say, we're just not in a position to do that," he said.
While they're waiting to hear, residents are already discussing how the land might be used to complement the town.
Seven Devils currently has a public area with tennis courts and a playground. Bear Paw State Natural Area also pokes into the town, but the area is undeveloped, Evans said. Otter Falls would be unlike any other public space the town currently offers, he said.

Whether it happens or not, it's still nice to see that town leaders are trying to make the area the best it can possibly be.

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