How does weather affect the park?

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 14, 2020

SALISBURY — Weather can be fickle, and this winter hasn’t been much of a winter. We are already starting to see a few buds swelling, bulbs starting to bloom, and a few things coming out right on time.

Among the early bloomers, we continue to have damage and higher than usual garbage being thrown or left in Hurley Park. Below are a few questions we have received from park visitors or by email, phone or social media.

Q: We have had some really warm days lately followed by some torrential storms. Will this affect the parks plants?

A: It definitely can. We have a few things starting to bloom in January and early February. Most of it is normal, such as the hellebores, winter jasmine and a few others. We also have a good bit of bud swell on the trees. Most of that is too early and we need some more winter weather before these trees start putting out flowers and leaves. Winter is not over and if these trees start coming out too soon, they will be damaged when we get a later frost. The storms have caused damage to areas recently repaired from previous hurricanes and floods. Trash and debris have clogged parts recently cleaned up from our dredging, so it has been slightly disheartening for park workers and guests.

Q: I noticed that Hurley Park has been having a lot more garbage from birthdays and gender reveals. Is there anything you or the public can do to stop this?

A: Sadly, this seems to be an increasing occurrence. We have had to clean up paint, confetti, glitter, plastic food containers, drinks and some unmentionables. What is frustrating is that the park has 12 trash cans located throughout the park; many are alongside the road where it is convenient for walkers and parked vehicles to dispose of their trash, yet often we find the trash on the curbs. Glitter is exceedingly difficult to clean up and remove from cracks and crevices. Unfortunately, most of the glitter/confetti ends up getting eaten by our wildlife and washed into streams. For rented events, Hurley Park has a policy of cleaning up after their event (and usually they do), but many of the guests who do the most damage do not rent the park or adhere to the rules and regulations. Hurley Park is a beautiful natural area, we all need to work together to clean up our own trash and not expect someone else to take care of it, only then will we be able to get a handle on this trash issue. Hurley Park also accepts volunteers whether you want to help with the gardens or help keep the park looking clean and beautiful.

Q: I am a regular walker and I keep noticing that the fountain is on somedays and cut off on others, is the fountain OK?

A: This actually ties into the previous question. When we had the hurricanes and flooding from 2018, trash got lodged into the fountain (a trash bag was wrapped around the seal) and destroyed the motor. We replaced the motor and ended up having to dredge the pond from so much trash and debris clogging the area so that the fountain could be used again. Each time we have significant rainfall we have large amounts of trash, leaves, limbs and debris flooding the pond and clogging the fountain. Because the expense is so high to replace the motor and the fountain itself, we are being as proactive as we can to reduce or eliminate the possibility of the fountain being damaged again, so we cut it off when we have the potential of storms or rain. Helping pick up the trash or putting garbage in the proper receptacles can help us with the longevity of our fountain.

I know this seems a lot of doom and gloom but it is important for the public to be aware of the happenings at Hurley Park. We definitely enjoy the blooms, what nature provides for us, and we hope the future generations will get to enjoy it – with a little help from the public on keeping it as pristine as possible. If you are interested in being a volunteer or would like to keep up with what is going on in Hurley Park, be sure to like us on Facebook and Instagram. 

If you would like to make a contribution to the Hurley Park foundation, visit: If you have any questions or would like to volunteer, please call us at 704-638-4459.