Wesley Chapel to clean up park ahead of construction

Wesley Chapel is asking residents to come out in force to help clean up Dogwood Park this weekend.

On Sunday, Nov. 11, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., families, adults and teenagers are all welcome to come out to the park at the corner of Highway 84 and Lester Davis Road for Community Volunteer Day.

“Volunteer days at the park are an event for the family,” said Parks and Recreation Committee chairman, John Lepke. “We have tasks for people of all ages.”

Volunteers will be working on clearing debris from the sides of a walking trail built by volunteers, adding drainage trenches to prevent erosion of the trail surface and thinning a wooded area to increase visibility to and from Weddington Road, Lepke said.

It’s important that the clean up occur now, Lepke said, in light of construction coming to the park soon. November may present the last opportunity for the town to have volunteers on the site before construction begins.

“We expect construction of park amenities to start in December or January,” he said. “This will involve construction traffic, earth-moving equipment, trenching for utility lines and other trip hazards. As a safety precaution, we do not want to have volunteer members of the public on the site during the construction phase.”

The town has scheduled at least one general volunteer workday each month since March.

“There were also additional days when an Eagle Scout group was on the site working on a project to extend the walking trail,” Lepke said. “Turnout has been as high as 30 people.”

Safety is the foremost priority for the event, according to Lepke.

“All participants should wear work gloves or other personal protection equipment appropriate for the tasks they work on,” he said. “Past participants have amazed me with their dedication and hard work. I expect, as on past occasions, that we will make some new friends, have a good workout and leave feeling satisfied with the contribution we have made.”

Lepke said  building a new park is an expensive endeavor for the community, and any work that can be executed by volunteers is one way to help keep cost down so limited budgets can be used to pay for work requiring professional contractors.

“Clearing up debris is important to making the park beautiful and look cared for,” he said. “Cleaning up fallen branches and trees from along the walking trail is a labor-intensive task that people of all ages can help with. Every hour of labor donated by volunteers is an hour of labor cost we save to spend on amenities like paved walking trails, amphitheater and park restrooms.”

The town is in need of any volunteers that have chainsaws and know how to operate them safely, Lepke said.

“We would like to begin thinning the trees and brush along a stretch of Weddington Road to improve visibility into and out of the park,” he said. “This area is also being considered as a location for a future dog park, so thinning the trees will take us one step closer to making that happen.”

All volunteers must sign a waiver, and anyone under 18 must have their waiver signed by a parent or guardian in order to participate.

Find more information at the town’s website, www.ci.wesley-chapel.nc.us.

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