The City of Hickory invites the public to attend a ribbon cutting for Bruce Meisner Park on Friday, April 8, at 1 p.m. The ceremony will celebrate the grand opening of the new 73-acre park and the completion of its first phase of construction.
The program will include comments from Hickory Mayor Hank Guess, Pastor Chris Webb of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, North Carolina Outward Bound Development Director Sabrina Delk, former Councilman Phil Yount, retired Councilman Bruce Meisner, and Hickory Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism Commission Chair Kenneth Geathers, Jr.
Participants of the Unifour Senior Games are also invited to attend the ribbon cutting and enjoy various activities in the park that afternoon. A light lunch will be provided for those at the event.
The new park is named in honor of Hickory resident and former councilman Bruce Meisner, who served the City of Hickory for 32 years. During his tenure on the Hickory City Council, Meisner was a strong supporter of regional partnerships for water and sewer infrastructure, transportation improvements, and recreational amenities.
As a councilman, Meisner was involved in the development of several significant recreation projects, including Winkler Park and L.P. Frans Stadium, Stanford Park, the soccer complex at Henry Fork River Park, and the growth of Glenn Hilton Park. He also played a role in bringing to fruition large-scale infrastructure projects and investments like the 1988 water bonds for an expansion of the City’s Water Treatment Facility, the Northeast Wastewater Treatment Facility, and the 2014 economic and transportation development bond program.
The property at the intersection of N.C. 127 and Cloninger Mill Road was identified as the site for a future city park in the City of Hickory’s first comprehensive parks and recreation master plan. The unique property contains almost a half mile of Falling Creek and provides views to Lake Hickory.
In the early planning stages, the park was intended to occupy only 63 acres, with 10 acres reserved for commercial development. In 2015, North Carolina Outward Bound came to the City and offered to donate $900,000 so that the 10-acre commercial property could be reserved for park use.
With the first phase of construction now complete, current amenities at the park include a paved walking trail or promenade, a picnic shelter with restrooms, and outdoor grills. These amenities will allow visitors to enjoy the natural beauty of the landscape and a wide variety of recreation activities in the park.
Future amenities at the park may include playground equipment and additional nature trails with the potential for lake access. A timeframe has not been established for the full funding and construction of the park.
Bruce Meisner Park is located at 35 Cloninger Mill Road NE in Hickory. For more information about the park, visit www.hickorync.gov/bruce-meisner-park or call 828-322-7046.[City of Hickory news release]