CLYDE — A community wide picnic generally held each spring in Clyde had a new purpose this year.
Saturday marked the grand reopening of River’s Edge Park, a project that protects the town from flooding because it was specifically designed to hold water and release it slowly.
A bonus was the town’s ability to create an open space area filled with trees, several children’s play areas, picnic tables under a covered shed and outdoor education areas.
The sandy beaches will be another plus for families who aren’t able to make it to the ocean. Clyde’s beaches are even better because there is plenty of shade.
During his welcome remarks, Clyde Mayor Jim Trantham thanked the partners who helped fund the park — N.C. Division of Soil and Water Conservation, along with the Haywood County soil and conservation program, as well as Haywood Waterways Association, which was instrumental in helping access funding through the Pigeon River Fund as well as creating the outdoor education sites.
The mayor also thanked the town staff for its tireless work in helping make Clyde what it is today.
Trantham recounted how more than 100 trees, at practically no cost, were planted in the park, crediting contractor Charlie Hall, who handled the restoration work at the park after it closed in the fall of 2017.
“Charlie came up with the idea of swapping dirt for trees,” Trantham said, referencing the 110 trees that had been relocated from Jim King’s nursery and transplanted at River’s Edge Park. “It costs $350 to transplant a small tree, so that’s at least $35,000 worth of trees just because of his effort.”
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SANDY AND COOL — River’s Edge Park has plenty of trees to provide shade and absorb water at the park. The sandy riverbank offers something beachgoers seldom find — shade.
Evelyn Chambers with FunShine Faces paints a dragon on Karter Beck.
Karter Beck looks through the designs for face painting with parents Kevin and Heather.
Evelyn Chambers paints a design on Haywood Waterways employee Caitlyn Worsham.
Mark, Aunya and Bella Redd after visiting Sunshine Faces.
Clyde Police Terry Troutman chats with Amanda DellaSavia at the Clyde community picnic.
Kevin, Heather and baby Dani Beck enjoy a hot dog lunch compliments of the town of Clyde and the Clyde chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America.
Harper and Taylor Higgins enjoy the climbing structures at River's Edge Park.
Karrington Cole is shown with her grandmother, Clyde Alderwoman Diane Fore.
CATCHING UP — Karrington Cole chats with her kindergarten teacher, Mary Jesse while her grandmother, Alderwoman Diane Fore looks on.
Roger Higgins with children Harper and Taylor.
Suzanna Klimek and Bunny Brown enjoy chatting at the Clyde community picnic.
ENJOYING A CHAT AND LUNCH — Top are Ann and Mike Edwards and daughter Cheri. Directly above are Vietnam veterans Johnny Grogan and Lyndon Smathers.
Ann and Mike Edwards, along with daughter Cheri, enjoy visiting at the Clyde event at River's Edge Park.
Contractor Charlie Hall chats with Clyde Alderman Dann Jesse during the Clyde community picnic.
Charlie Hall and Duane VanHook.
Bill Yarborough, Kelly Hedgepeth and Caitlin Worsham were recognized for the help providing by the agencies they represented.
Bill Yarborough and Kelly Hedgepeth, who came from Raleigh to represent the state soil and water conservation division, were recognized at the picnic.
Alderman Dann Jesse and Mayor Jim Trantham