By Harley Nefe
The Valle Crucis Community Park will be implementing a new parking fee of $5 per car on most Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. The change will be implemented beginning July 24 and will run through October 2020.
100% of fees collected will go directly back to park improvement projects.
According to the Valle Crucis Community Park’s website, the park was established in 1983. It now operates with the mission of providing a safe and peaceful recreation resource and gathering space for the community, preserving open space and educating visitors about natural resources and the importance of protecting them for future generations.
“The park is a really beautiful place, but it doesn’t stay that way without a lot of really hard work from a lot of people,” said Ashley Galleher, Park Director of Valle Crucis Community Park in a summer update video. “We’re really grateful to have the support of so many people and so many community members, but a lot of users don’t know that the park is a nonprofit that relies solely on donations from users. Over the last couple of years, we’ve been really happy to see our user numbers increase. We love seeing people out in nature and enjoying time with each other in this beautiful space. However, with the increase in visitor numbers, what also increases is our maintenance and upkeep costs. Being an organization that solely relies on donations, it becomes more difficult to fund the larger, capital improvement projects. We love this park just as much as you do, and we want to make it even better for our users.”
Parking will remain free Monday through Thursday as well as Friday through Sunday before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m.
Friends of the Park will receive a hangtag in the mail and will not be charged the parking fee.
Friends of the Park are sustaining supporters who show their love for the park by supporting the nonprofit facility. Annual donations of $100 or monthly recurring donations of $10 qualify an individual for Friends of the Park.
“Being here with the kids and the dogs and the music and everybody spread out on the blankets with their picnics, it doesn’t get better than that anywhere,” said Arthur Thompson, who has been a long term Friend in the Park, in the summer update video. “So, I would urge everyone who’s watching this to become familiar with the park, financially support this park because it adds so much to our community and it does so much for so many.”
According to the Valle Crucis Community Park’s website, Friends of the Park will always be guaranteed a parking space. The nonprofit facility reserves the grass overflow lot for Friends of the Park visitors and will allow them in if they arrive when the gravel lot is full.
“It’s a place where families can meet and grow and love each other,” said Bettie Hill, who is another Friend in the Park, in the summer update video. “It’s where we will watch our kids learn how to ride their bikes, do their homework. It’s where we have every birthday party, and we’ll watch our kids grow up here. So, our family is supporting the changes in the park because we know that we need a lot more active givers to preserve this wonderful place and keep it open to the public.”
According to the Valle Crucis Community Park’s website, people who are attending a pre-arranged event within the park need to check in at the gate. Parking staff will have daily printouts of reservations and all events happening within the park. If the group did not make and pay for a reservation for one of the shelters, they will be charged the parking fee.
Users walking into the park from neighboring locations will be asked by park staff to move their vehicles or risk being towed.
“We support the changes that are coming at the park because this is a community hub because we love to support our neighbors, and this is the heart of Valle Crucis,” said Margaret Love, Manager at the Valle Crucis Conference Center, in the summer update video. “I love watching my children play here. I respect and admire the leadership and board of this park so much, and we need to honor that relationship both professionally and personally.”
Valle Crucis Community Park is located at 2892 Broadstone Road in Valle Crucis. For more information about the park or for further questions, visit the park website at https://vallecrucispark.org/ or email the park director at [email protected].