Waste Management donates $3,000 for Royal Giants Park project

Published 12:14 am Friday, April 10, 2015

By Shavonne Walker


EAST SPENCER — Local company Waste Management, which provides garbage collection, recycling and disposal services has partnered with the town to provide a $3,000 donation to aid in the redevelopment of Royal Giants Park.

This donation is one of many the town has received within the last year to help with the long-awaited project.

When the board began assessing the needs of the town, the park was one of its top priorities along with economic development.

Mayor Barbara Mallett said the town has been working on plans to improve the park for over three years. Within the last year, the town has received about a half dozen donations toward the park project.

The town has to raise the required $300,000 match money for a N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant she said.

The town must have 50 percent of the funds to complete the project. The board was presented with the $3,000 check by Waste Management officials at its Monday meeting.

“Waste Management has been partners with the town of East Spencer for many years, and what better way to show our support for the residents than to help with this redevelopment project,” said Waste Management Public Sector Representative Stan Joseph.

The park is located in the center of the town and adjacent to Waste Management’s East Spencer Transfer Station and “will be multi-faceted and serve the entire county of Rowan,” Joseph said.

Last May, the town received $47,000 from the Robertson Family Foundation to help with Royal Giants Park renovations. In August, the town received  $30,000 from the Stanback Foundation to help with Phase I of the park project. The town has also received $20,000 and $10,000 from the county and the F&M Bank Foundation, respectively, for the park.

The park will provide supervised youth sports programs including basketball, soccer, baseball and football. The development will also include walking trails and a water park area.

In February, the town was awarded a $30,500 Carolina Thread Trail grant to be used to build the first phase of a trail proposed in the Rowan County Carolina Thread Trail plan.

The trail will lead into and through Royal Giants Park. It will connect with the town of Spencer via the Andrews Street overpass.

In July, the town announced it had received $36,000 collectively with the town of Spencer from the N.C. Department of Transportation for a pedestrian and bicycle planning grant.

The process for the park project began with a questionnaire given to residents and a land survey. In January 2013, the town also created a design advisory committee which worked with local architect Bill Burgin to evaluate and select from among six design proposals.

The design team presented its decisions to the board in October and November 2013, and the board approved the design in January 2014.

In the summer of 2014, volunteers began initial maintenance and improvements at the park including adding a picnic shelter.

The board then began seeking project partners and sponsors and is in the midst of continuing to seek sponsors to continue with Phase I of the project.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.