Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Little Library at Town Lake Park

Serendipity strikes! I've been wanting to place a Little Lending Library at one or several of the parks but it's never risen to the top of my priority list.  So, I was thrilled when Krista Millard approached me about not only providing a pre-made library, but also offering to stock it with children's books - quite good ones I might add.

Krista is with Chatham Reads, an organization "dedicated to ensuring that literacy and reading resources are accessible to all Chatham County residents." What a great asset for our community!

The Library artwork was designed by Bynum Artist Matt Zigler, while the carpentry was provided by one of the County High School's shop class.

The little library is located near the Park's Picnic Shelter.

By the way, the bridge construction on HWY 902 doesn't impact park entry; just access the park from the north. NCDOT has been great about keeping the park entrance open during park hours.  Bonus feature: the bridge will have a sidewalk which will allow for the possible development of a circular trail around the park!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Pittsboro Parks & Recreation System Master Plan

Pittsboro Parks has just begun work on a Parks and Recreation System Master Plan!

What is a System Master Plan?

A System Master Plan is a strategic guide that outlines the goals and vision of a community’s parks, recreation and greenway system. It is the broadest public document for parks and recreation planning and typically sets forth a long-range vision and implementation plan after a methodical analysis.

Why does Pittsboro need a System Master Plan?

In general, planning represents good stewardship. With the ongoing development of the Town’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), new polices and action items are being defined for parks, greenways, open spaces, and natural areas. Updating these ordinances requires a new focused look at how best to meet the needs of a rapidly growing and diversifying population. This plan will provide that focused look via a systematic community-driven planning process.

How long is the planning process?

The process should take approximately ten months to complete. The project kicked-off in January, 2017 and includes five main phases:

  • Existing Conditions (Winter, 2017)
  • Needs & Priorities Assessment (Spring, 2017)
  • Long-Range Vision (Summer, 2017)
  • Implementation Plan (Summer, 2017)
  • Final Plan Development (Fall, 2017)

Adoption or approval of a final, publicly vetted Parks System Master Plan is targeted for the fall of 2017.

Why should I care?

A well connected, robust parks and recreation system, or lack thereof, can play an instrumental role in shaping the essential character of a community. As a member of this community, whether you’re a newcomer, a longtime resident, a business owner, or a frequent visitor for work or play, your input is vital to help craft the community that you desire. The rapid growth anticipated for our small town underscores the importance of this endeavor as well as the necessity of YOUR input.

Who is guiding this planning process?

The Town of Pittsboro Parks and Recreation Department is working closely with a team of planning consultants who  bring national expertise and local knowledge to the planning process. Public participation will play a key role in the planning effort, with residents and visitors providing input and feedback throughout each phase of the project. A project steering committee, made up of community stakeholders, is also guiding the development of the project. Finally, for extra transparency, each phase of the planning document will be posted online to allow for public input and review.

What is the most important thing I can do to help?

The most important thing you can do is to participate in the planning process. Participate in as many events as you can and be sure to provide your thoughts online as well at www. PittsboroParks.org. Help us network this important planning process through emails, Twitter, Facebook, etc., with friends, family and co-workers.

When should I participate?

Feel free to participate in as many events as you would like and that time permits. Even if you can participate for an hour, please free feel. Be sure to check the project website for upcoming opportunities.

Where can I get more information?

Be sure to visit www.PittsboroParks.org  to find additional information, discussion topics and ideas. This website will be active throughout the entire planning process. Draft sections of the report will be posted on that website. Bookmark the site and visit often!

Friends of the Haw River Updates

This group has hit the ground running since their founding as an official Friends of the State Parks chapter focusing on our well loved  Lower Haw River State Natural Area.

Read more about their numerous activities in their latest NEWSLETTER.

Highlights include their:

  • installation of trash cans at several paddle access points
  • acquisition of a grant for a hiking bridge over Pokeberry Creek, &
  • details on an upcoming Haw River Clean-Up-A-Thon 
    • Saturday March 18th from 9-12 at the US 64 Bridge
Be sure to check out their website too.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

From Pickle-Low to Pickleball

Dorthea Lange, as part of her famous 1939 photographic series in Pittsboro, captured this sign advertising a "Pickle-Low Party" in downtown Pittsboro.  This was well before our current ordinance outlawing such scofflaw utility pole postings. More information about this photo can be found here, though the jury is still out regarding what exactly a pickle-low party is.  If you happen to know, please leave a comment.

History repeats itself  in 2017 with a different type of Pickle Party, namely a growing group of pickleball enthusiasts meeting twice a week at the McClenahan Park tennis & pickleball courts. I say pickleball courts because when we resurfaced the tennis courts last year, we repainted all three courts to specifically accommodate this rapidly growing sport.

Photos courtesy of Janis Warren of JCWarren Photos
This local group is inviting others to join their outings, which are held on Tuesdays & Thursdays starting at 9 a.m. Here's text from a recent Chatham Chatlist post by one of their members:

"Pickleball is going strong on the 3 tennis courts across from Pittsboro Elementary School. 15-20 regulars, ranging from beginners to advanced, play together in the spirit of friendly competition.

We have loaner paddles and qualified coaches to help you get started. You will be playing regular games on day one.

Our scheduled times are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 am till ? If it's at least 40 degrees and dry at 9:00 am, there will be players there. Less than 40 degrees- proceed at your own risk."

Additionally, the Chatham Council on Aging periodically offers pickleball classes for seniors.

Here's a quick video explaining some of the basic rules of the game:

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Quote of the Day

"You can measure the health of a town by the vitality and energy of its streets and public open space." 

- William H. Whyte

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Doris Day Parking & The High Cost of Free Parking

What is Doris Day Parking?  You'll have to watch the first few minutes of this video to find out!

Transportation & Parking from Julie Campoli on Vimeo.

Parking Rock Star (&UCLA economist) Donald Shoup on the High Cost of Free Parking

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