GARLAND — Town officials are preparing to celebrate a new era with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Curtis D. Cain Memorial Park.
The celebration is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 13, on South Bladen Avenue, near the U.S. Post Office. Commissioner Judy Smith is one of many local leaders looking forward to the event.
“At that point, the park will be (officially) open for the children to play on,” Smith said. “We’re excited to get it opened up.”
But children have been playing on it for quite some time now. To prevent injuries, mulch was placed around the equipment.
“There’s no way to keep them off of it and they’ve been enjoying it already,” Smith said. “We really tried to discourage it because we want to make sure we had that fall surfacing underneath it.”
Smith said some of the invited guests will include the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce, Sampson County Commissioner Harry Parker of District 4, and other who made contributions to the park’s development.
“We’re hoping that the community will come as well,” Smith said.
Connie Cain Rackley, donated the the 1.39 acres of land for the project, which is being named after Cain — a former commissioner and business entrepreneur. Following approval, Brad Richardson assisted with construction work of renovating Head Start’s abandoned playground equipment. A new swing set was donated by Smith and her husband, Eddie Smith.
During the July meeting for Garland Board of Commissioners, Smith hopes the board receives approval to move forward with the installation of the basketball courts, which will be at the opposite end of the park, near the Goshen Medical Center, located on Lisbon Avenue. The next meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 11, at 190 S. Church Ave.
“We’re hoping to be able to move forward with that as soon as possible,” Smith said.
Another step is to erect a marker in honor of Cain. One of the final phases will be placing a walking track around the park.