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Pickleball enthusiasts now have expanded opportunities for play in Cary. On weekday afternoons, four 36-foot, lighted courts at Cary Tennis Park (CTP) are used for tennis for children ages 8 and younger. By using blended lines and vibrant colors, these courts can now be used in the morning and late evening hours for pickleball. Players can reserve court time through the CTP court reservation system. Open play is offered on weekends to complement the open play opportunities offered at the community centers during the week. Triangle Pickleball Enthusiasts, a meetup group, is beginning to host level-based, social pickleball meetups. CTP staff is completing instructor training and will soon provide lessons, tournaments and other pickleball programming.
The tennis and pickleball governing bodies have been so impressed with this solution that they are discussing expanding these blended lines nationally, providing more play time while using facilities more efficiently. Cary is on the cutting edge of this new concept, reflecting the creativity and adaptability of Cary’s staff to provide the highest possible service to all citizens.
On February 19, Cary held a public information session at the Page-Walker to share highlights of the historic research and structural analysis of three Cary-owned historic properties — Good Hope Farm, the C.F. Ferrell Store & Warehouses and the Barnabas Jones Farmstead. These properties have been the focus of a detailed study conducted over the past year and a half by consultants and a staff team led by Kris Carmichael and Paul Kuhn. The next phase of the project will utilize previously-allocated funds to address structural needs, install basic historic interpretive signs and make site improvements to facilitate public walking tours of the exteriors and grounds.
Council member Ed Yerha, citizen donors, major grant contributors and staff dedicated new educational exhibits at the Stevens Nature Center on March 6. The focus of the new interactive panel is urban wildlife in action and involves a touch screen with videos capturing wildlife at the preserve. There is also a selfie station that allows patrons to take wildlife selfies. The cooperative project is ongoing, and this phase of the exhibit panel was completed with funding from the Town, the Friends of Hemlock Bluffs, the JandyAmmons Foundation, Digital P and the Lazy Daze Grant Program. Exhibit Hall renovations will continue through 2019.
Cary’s 80+ mile network of greenways is the second largest in the state and an integral part of the 320-mile greenway network in the Triangle region. This network of paved trails has been connecting the people and places of Cary for 40 years, and it all began in 1979 with a 0.15-mile trail between Tarbert Drive and Gatehouse Drive. Cary’s commitment to greenways has resulted in a Town-wide system used by over a million people annually for recreation and transportation. Recognized as a leader in greenway planning, Cary has been selected as a National Recreation & Park Association Gold Medal winner and has enjoyed repeated designations as a nationally-recognized, Bike-Friendly and Walk-Friendly Community.
In 2019, the Town is celebrating 40 Years of Cary Greenways with events and opportunities to engage and educate the community and celebrate all that has been accomplished. The signature celebration will be on June 1, National Trails Day, at Bond Park from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. UNC REX Healthcare is the premier sponsor of this signature celebration and a partner in the promotion of a healthy and active community.
Cary is continuing to build on programming ideas to expand events that celebrate African-American culture. New programs have been added with more being planned. The 24th Annual Cary Kwanzaa was joined by a new event, “A Motown Christmas.” Presented in collaboration with Lī V Mahob Productions, three sold-out shows capped off December with soul, holiday joy and a message of love.
In January, the MLK, Jr. Dreamfest featured four full days of programs and activities. Highlights included an affordable housing symposium, a capacity crowd screening of the documentary “Wilmington on Fire,” performances from the Pleasant Grove Church Sanctuary Choir and the NC Central University Vocal Jazz Ensemble and a Day of Service activity at Good Hope Farm.
February events included the 24th Annual African-American Celebration presented in collaboration with the Ujima Group with panels and performances with the theme, “A Legacy of Pride.” Later in the month, a program focusing on The Future of Black History was built on the theme, “The Power of Inclusion.” Chris Broussard of Fox Sports provided a keynote address that complemented performances and a panel discussion.
Looking ahead, working to expand African-American programming beyond the traditional winter timeframe, staff members are planning for two upcoming programs. The African-American Literary Tea will take place in April at the Page-Walker Arts & History Center, and Cary’s first Juneteenth Celebration is slated for June 15 in Downtown Cary. Juneteenth commemorates the final emancipation of African-American slaves in Texas on June 19, 1865, two months after the end of the Civil War.
On March 11, advisory board members assembled at the Matthews House to present their work plans to Council. This annual event provides an opportunity for Council to review and discuss each board’s goals.
The Greenway Committee and Teen Council helped residents kick off 2019 on the right foot with Cary’s annual First Walk. The White Oak Greenway provided a perfect setting for more than 150 participants to begin the new year by exploring the greenway system, enjoying the mild temperatures and getting a start on healthy habits for 2019. First Day Hikes began more than 40 years ago in North Carolina to promote healthy lifestyles and recreational opportunities.
On Saturday, March 23, 15 courageous teams competed in Cary’s second annual Dodgeball Tournament, presented by Chick-fil-A at Stone Creek Village. Teams were encouraged to dive down, jump back, and most importantly, Play it Forward. The tournament raised $3,850 for Cary’s Play it Forward Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to Cary residents for recreational programs. Special thanks to the teams and sponsors for supporting this cause, and congratulations to this
Each summer, Cary provides more than 500 camps to serve over 10,000 citizens at a variety of locations. Camp programs build community by providing opportunities for participants to create friendships and memories that can last a lifetime. Cary offers a variety of camp programs, including arts, sports, STEM, culinary arts, space exploration, outdoor skills, nature, history, skateboarding and more — something for everyone. Camp sign-up opened on Monday, February 4, with 3,974 citizens registering on the first day, a 19.2 percent increase compared to 2018. Additionally, camp program revenue reached $497,948 on day one, a 19.3 percent increase.