Joyner Park benefits from passing of park referendum

With+the+growth+of+population+in+Wake+Forest%2C+Joyner+Park+will+soon+expand+to+meet+the+community%27s+needs.+A+community+center%2C+park+and+basketball+will+be+added.

Emma Vukovich

With the growth of population in Wake Forest, Joyner Park will soon expand to meet the community’s needs. A community center, park and basketball will be added.

Suzanne Blake, Life editor

Offering various trails and an escape into nature, Carroll E. Joyner Park stands as a park beloved by many in the community since its opening in 2009.

The 2014 Bond Referendum devotes $14.2 million to enhancing current park facilities in the town.

The plan called for the addition of a community center, basketball courts and a playground.

For Ruben Wall, director of parks and recreation, the bond’s projects are a necessity.

“As the town continues to grow, we are in need of additional resources to meet the growing demands of citizens,” Wall said.

The plan is in the midst of reevaluation, according to Mayor Vivian Jones, although she said the basketball courts are, “sorely needed.”

Of the 117 acres, only 84 currently provide services. For this reason, Jones thinks concerns over the destruction of Joyner’s tranquility and nature are unfounded.

“I think it’s a beautiful park. We certainly want to keep it natural and a good place just for people to go walk and enjoy being outside. There’s a lot of space out there, so I think it will still be a place where you can enjoy walking and having the peace and quiet of Joyner Park,” Jones said.

Also in the works for Joyner Park’s improvement is a cover over the amphitheater.

Senior Jeremiah Branch cites the park as a place of welcoming when he moved here a year ago.

“I remember one of the first things I wanted to do when I moved here was walk on the trails of Joyner Park,” Branch said.

Sophomore Alyse Hood agrees that the park has benefited the community.

“It has certainly brought the community together for many events. It’s provided us recreational opportunities to run, bike and walk with our pets,” Hood said.

Wall is in agreement with Jones that development in the park must maintain the natural aspect.

Wall said the master plan for the park is, “designed to not disturb the current elements of the park.”

Along with the park bond, a greenway bond of $4.6 million has been issued. One of its projects is a pedestrian bridge connecting Joyner Park to the Cougar Trail.

This is one of the projects, Wall said, “which will increase connectivity throughout the system.”

Phase two of Joyner Park is set to take from five to seven years, according to Jones.

Joyner Park’s transformation will make a difference for Wake Forest residents, and Wall is certain the town will grow.

Wall said, “All bond projects will have a great impact on our town.”