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Improvements continue at Lenoir Optimist Park

LENOIR, NC (June 12, 2019) — The Lenoir Optimist Park is getting more upgrades this year thanks to a state grant and matching funds from the City.

The park will get a new parking lot, restrooms, a playground, two picnic shelters, permanent cornhole boards, walking paths, and new lights on the rear ball field.

A few years ago, the Lenoir Optimist Club donated the park to the City. In 2016, the City received a grant from the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) to make improvements to the Optimist Park and Mulberry Recreation Center.

Workers stand behind one set of the new ball field lights at the Lenoir Optimist Park Monday, June 3, 2019.

Parks and Recreation Director Kenny Story said the City already completed the improvements to Mulberry Recreation Center.

“We added a new FlexCourt to one tennis court, and we installed new lights on one of the ball fields at Mulberry,” Story said. “Now we’re working on the upgrades to the Optimist Park.”

Last week, contractors installed new lights for the rear ball field at Lenoir Optimist Park. City workers also started grading for the playground and parking lot.

Story said the additions will enhance the park and provide more recreation options the public.

The site plan above shows the new parking lot, shelters, playground, restrooms, and path. The plan shows the rear field being turned, but staff has decided to leave the field as is.

“These improvements will be a great benefit for our citizens,” Story said. “We’ll have more parking, more playgrounds, and more things to do for families during games. During the summer, our picnic shelters are booked every weekend; this will give residents two more to rent.”

Once the new parking lot is open, staff will close the original entrance to vehicles.

Story said he appreciated the donation from the Lenoir Optimist Club.

“Thank you to the Optimist Club for donating this land to the City,” Story said. “They have been a big asset to the City for many, many years. We’re glad to be able to expand and improve the park for Lenoir and Caldwell County residents.”

The PARTF grant was $327,000. The City of Lenoir matched the grant with $100,000 and the value of Lenoir Optimist Park, which assessed at $227,000.

The improvements to Lenoir Optimist Park should be finished by the end of the year.