The City of Lenoir cut a ribbon and rededicated the T.H. Broyhill Walking Park yesterday with some new improvements.
Earlier this year, the Broyhill Family Foundation donated $100,000 to replace the flooring on the observation deck at the park and to convert the park restrooms into three, single-unit restrooms. The observation deck was finished a couple months ago and the new restrooms are now complete and open to the public.
Mayor Joe Gibbons said he was very grateful for the support the Broyhill Family Foundation has given to the Walking Park.
"The Broyhill Family Foundation has always been a great partner and has made sure the City had funding to make repairs, buy mulch and plants, and keep the park looking beautiful," Mayor Gibbons said. "Thank you for this donation and the many others in the past."
Broyhill Family Foundation Executive Director Sheila Triplett-Brady attended the event.
"I have found this to be one of the most enjoyable parts of my job, to work with the City on this park," Triplett-Brady said. "The City is always cooperative and works hard to make it a place where people from all walks of life can enjoy safely the beauty of nature. Mr. Paul Broyhill loves this park, as does everyone who visits here. I can't thank you enough on behalf of Mr. Broyhill and Hunt [Broyhill] for taking such an interest in it and for recognizing what a gem it is for our community."
Councilman David Stevens, great-grandson of T.H. Broyhill, echoed Mayor Gibbons' comments.
"The City could not do this without the help of the Foundation, and we are very, very appreciative of that," Stevens said.
The T.H. Broyhill Walk Park is located in an old rock quarry. During the 1930’s the Civilian Conservation Corps garnered stone from the quarry, which left a small lake. The Corps used some of the stone to build two sets of stairs on the property.
In 1938, Tom Broyhill (T.H.), co-founder of Broyhill Industries, donated the land to the City of Lenoir for a municipal swimming pool. The City built a pool on the land in 1947 with a major gift from J.E. Broyhill. City residents enjoyed that pool until it was shut down in 1975.
The T.H. Broyhill Walking Park was completed in 1992 under the leadership of Paul Broyhill and with a major gift from the Broyhill Family Foundation.
Mr. Paul Broyhill came up with the idea for the gardens after visiting the Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island in Canada. The Butchart Gardens were built in an old limestone quarry on the island. With the help of furniture designer Bill Early and landscape architect Harry Yates, Mr. Broyhill fashioned an oriental-themed park here in Lenoir. They incorporated lighting, waterfalls, flowers, evergreens, and seasonal shrubs to enhance the natural beauty of the rock formations in the quarry.
Open from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm, the park covers 20 acres and features a paved .43 walking loop, a lake, a nature sanctuary, botanical gardens, observation deck, pavilion, and brand new restrooms.
Related: City gem getting renovations thanks to generous donation, Jan. 21, 2021
Mayor Joe Gibbons, Councilman David Stevens, Broyhill Family Foundation Executive Director Sheila Triplett-Brady, and other City staff cut a ribbon in front of the new restrooms at the T.H. Broyhill Walking Park. Pictured from left: Parks and Recreation Director Kenny Story, Public Works Director Jared Wright, City Manager Scott Hildebran, Triplett-Brady, Mayor Gibbons, Councilman Stevens, Police Chief Brent Phelps, and Fire Chief Kent Hair.
The pagoda building on the south end of the park now contains three, new single restrooms. Each restroom has a toilet, baby changing stations, sink and air hand drier. The restrooms will be locked at 9:00 pm and opened at 6:00 am.
The observation deck at the north end of the park has new wood flooring.