Hurley Park Q&A: Name that shrub, balloons a no-no

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 16, 2021

By Danelle Cutting
For the Salisbury Post

We are very blessed to have received the rain lately, and it has been even better to not get another late frost. Our annual plants that we started seem to have tripled in size overnight just by the recent storms. The plant growth and size will fill in our entrance area quickly, and we should have a few blooms starting soon. Due to our last Q&A, we have received a lot more questions and thought everyone would benefit from another round of answering everyone’s burning questions.

Question: What is the orange flower blooming shrub you have scattered throughout your park? 

Answer: We have a few flowers that this person could be talking about but after a few questions about the location and more details of what they were asking about, it became clear they were wanting to know about our flame azalea. It has a beautiful and vibrant orange color with a delicate fragrance that is so divine. It is a native deciduous azalea that is the perfect flower for the spring. They can get to be about 8-10 feet tall and can be just as wide. They are sold at native plant stores as well as local nurseries, and some box stores may have them as well. We get quite a few phone calls and emails about the different plants we have in the park, and we try to keep records on all of the plants that were planted since the park’s inception. So, if you are interested in us telling you a cultivar, we can almost always help you out.

Rhododendron blooming in park

Question: What hours are you open, and do you allow dogs?

Answer: The park is open from sunup to sundown every day, 365 days a year. We do not have special hours for holidays. There are no lights in the interior of the park so it is not recommended for anyone to be walking in the park at night. The park allows dogs, and we provide pet waste stations with free pet waste bags to help reduce disease spread amongst dogs. Currently, our park office is located off of the premises so we are not always in the park during office hours which is Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Our staff handles a variety of tasks, from answering calls/emails, record keeping, social media and gathering quotes, to weeding and tending to the gardens and park equipment. This is probably one of the most common questions we receive so it is always good to have a refresher.

Balloon in tree

Question: Can we have a birthday party with balloons at the park?

Answer: You can have a birthday party at the park as long as you reserve the area, but you cannot have balloons at the event. Every spring with the proms, weddings, birthday parties, engagement photos and graduations, we are bombarded with litter that comes from these events. Currently, we have multiple trees with plastic balloons tangled 50-60 feet in the trees at the park, and we do not have an economic way of getting them out. One is collecting water and will be a hazard when the limbs decide to give way. The litter and plastic from the confetti and balloons wreak havoc on our small crew to clean. and we are trying to protect the environment. We love the photos and all of the events at Hurley Park and due to our love of nature, we do have restrictions on events using balloons, confetti or seeds. There are numerous alternatives and make the photos and events just as lovely without harming the park.

Spring always brings a lot of questions about Hurley Park, and we are so glad that there is such an interest in our little community park. If you have any additional questions about the park, how to book events, what is going on, please give us a call at 704-638-4459 or contact us on Facebook or Instagram @HurleyParkNC. If you would like to donate to Hurley Park, visit our website at

Danelle Cutting is the manager of Hurley Park.