New job, but same interest in landscape

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 12, 2018


It has been a little more than eight weeks since I started my new position as Hurley Park manager. I have been greeted by many park regulars, and I am starting to get settled into my new role. Many visitors have been my Post readers and have asked and insisted that I continue writing my garden articles.

I will continue writing my articles, but they will have a new Hurley Park twist. This article will provide a catch-up of what I have been doing these past eight weeks.

First, to understand and even have a laugh, you need to know my history. I have often been called clumsy and sometimes, it seems like I have bad luck that follows me. I am hoping that the events of the first few weeks of my new job are the only bad luck that happens while I am working at Hurley Park.

Within the first few weeks of working at the park, we had water mains break. Garden beds were flooded; most stayed flooded overnight (not good at all). We even had the unfortunate incident of the power lines being cut (completely unintentional).

In total, we had three water main leaks and another small leak, all within two weeks of each other. In that moment, I knew I had brought my curse along with me. All kidding aside, I was very blessed to have the city of Salisbury utility workers come to my aid and fix those pesky leaks in a quick manner.

Thankfully, most of the later events have been positive. Soil samples have always been a golden rule of mine, and that was the first thing I did at the park.

I was able to submit more than 30 soil tests before Thanksgiving. This will be invaluable information since it will help us understand what is going on in the gardens. The last soil test was conducted over 30 years ago, so many things have changed since the first tests.

While taking the soil tests, I had many visitors wonder what on earth was I doing with a large metal “stake.” I had to chuckle a little and put my old Extension hat back on and explain what I was doing and that the stake was a soil probe. I believe I even encouraged a few to go to the Extension office and pick up a soil test kit, a job well done, in my opinion.

Another positive event was that I was actually allowed on the Hurley Park float in the Salisbury Parade commemorating the 30 years Hurley Park has been in existence. It was a great way to publicize the park and celebrate the holidays.

The other item I have been working hard on is improving the park’s social media appearance. Currently, Hurley Park is on Facebook and Instagram (@HurleyParkNC). Be sure to like and follow us on both for information on activities and what is going in the park.

Right now, the park is a winter wonderland. It is beautiful but can be dangerous. The pond and creek are almost completely frozen but this is North Carolina, so the pond and creek are never completely frozen. We recommend never stepping on the ice. Bundle up, take a walk and bring your camera to snap beautiful winter photos.

People always ask, “What on earth is there to do for a garden during the winter time?!?!” Unfortunately, there are a lot of items to do during the cold winter months, but they are not the most fun.

However, getting to see nature in all its glory throughout all the seasons is well worth the work you have to put into it.

Danelle Cutting is the new Hurley Park Manager for the city of Salisbury Parks and Recreation Department. You can reach her at 704-638-4459 or email her at