Bell Tower Green Park will open Friday after years of fundraising, construction

Published 5:17 pm Wednesday, September 29, 2021

SALISBURY — The wait is finally over.

Bell Tower Green Inc. and the city of Salisbury say Bell Tower Green Park will open Friday.

After more than two years of construction and four years of private fundraising and planning, the downtown park will be accessible to all in the community. The construction fence that has surrounded the park for more than a year will begin be dismantled Friday morning, a news release said. The public will have access to the park by midday or later in the afternoon.

“Our board of directors and donors have been dreaming about this day for several years and we are just elated that it looks like we are going to have a beautiful weekend to finally allow the community to come explore its new park,” said Dyke Messinger, president of Bell Tower Green.

The park is bounded by Innes, South Church, West Fisher and South Jackson streets. It’s adjacent to the Salisbury Post, Rowan Public Library, Maxwell Chambers House and St. John’s Lutheran Church. It was previously set to open on Sept. 10, but COVID-19 concerns prompted the cancellation of the grand opening as well as the Pops at the Post event that would have been the following day. The extra time was used to complete a few of the previously unfinished tasks and give the recently planted grass a chance to establish its roots. The park also received necessary permits to keep the water wall running.

“We are ready to finally see our citizens able to enjoy the beautiful new green space, interactive water wall, splash pad, and play area that we have been watching come out of the ground the past two years,” said Salisbury Parks and Recreation Director Nick Aceves. “We have a good team in place to take over management of the park, and we are grateful for the partnership we have had with the Bell Tower Green board to get to this point.”

Parks and Recreation and Public Works Department staff will take over maintenance and management of the park immediately. However, work will continue on the park for the foreseeable future.

“There are several odds and ends that will continue to be worked on in the coming weeks and months to finish off some of the work that just couldn’t get completed before now for various reasons,” Aceves said. “But we did not want the public to have to wait a day longer than necessary to get the park open. We ask the public to bear with us in the weeks ahead as we continue installation and replacement work in the park while it is open.”

The park will open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., beginning this weekend, with bathrooms closing at dusk and hours likely to fluctuate in the future. Rules for use of the park will be posted, and information about reservations and use of elements in the park will be forthcoming, a news release said.

“The permitting process and installation of some of our amenities took longer than expected, but our goal has always been to bring down the fence as soon as it was safe to do so,” Messinger said. “We have been saying that this park is about ‘cultivating community,’ and that can only happen when people can actually start enjoying it. We are ready to see this new park and our community flourish.”

For more information, contact 704-216-PLAY or visit www.belltowergreen.com.

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