Walnut Tree’s tightknit community came together Friday afternoon to commemorate the groundbreaking of their new neighborhood park.
The park is being built in honor of Dewey and Mary Mitchell, longtime residents who passed away nearly 10 years ago. Their eldest daughter, Marilyn Booe said her parents would have been proud to be part of the project.
“My dad just wanted better for the neighborhood. A lot of the kids were at his house. He had a building set up beside the carport where he sold candy, ice cream, cookies for 15 or 20 years, until his health declined. He’d go out and open the store for the kids, whether they had the money or not.”
The park will be located in the center of the neighborhood made up of 71 homes, on three lots donated by Dorothy and Marvin Dalton.
Senator Shirley Randleman commended community association president, David Hairston for his work to make the park possible.
“The voice that you have for this community surpasses what most people have For the children that are here we want you to be safe, to play, to have fun, to know what it’s like to be a child and grow up to be a happy adult. That’s what this is all about,” she said.
Jimmy Flythe, Duke Energy’s Director of Government and Community Relations, presented Hairston with an $8,000 check to clear off the three designated lots for the new playground.
“Duke Energy is really excited to be a part of this program and part of this playground. It’s going to be a great benefit to the neighborhood. I think this neighborhood started just around the same time the Belews Creek Steam Station was built and became operational. We have a lot in common and we like to be good neighbors in the communities where we operate.”
Hairston said Duke’s investment into the community proves people can disagree on some subjects and work together on others.
“I want to commend them because I only asked them once to be part of this and they were right there,” Hairston said. “If we can come together and do this, just think of what we can do. If we keep striving we can make this a great place and we can make the town of Walnut Cove a great place. We can’t fix the world, but we can fix Walnut Cove. If we treat each other with love and kindness, which we can start here today, it can spread. Hate spreads so why can’t love spread?”
Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.