Plans For Highland Community Park

The Highland Mid Kids Radio Club recently interviewed Lorraine McCune, who is working for the Highland Center on the proposed community park project.

“Hi this is Kirsten Wood, Brianna Weimer, Colton Williams and Ethan Moore with the Highland Mid Kids Radio Club here with Lorraine McCune. We would like to ask you a few questions about the park area near Monterey. Where will the park be located?”

“The park is located right in the heart of Monterey. It’s across from the Highland Medical Center and it’s near the pool.”

“When will the park construction begin?”

“It will begin in August of this year. We’ve already started a few things there, we’ve started some brush clearing and mowing, you may have noticed.

“How is the building of the park being funded?”

“Well it’s being funded in a number of ways, the Highland Center is starting the process by doing the planning and design work and applying for grants. The name of the grant we got is a Recreation Trail Program grant. It’s going to fund construction of several items in the park; trail construction, a parking lot construction, some signage and some landscape planting. Some of the other funding is coming from local donations.”

“When will the park be finished?”

“It will be in two phases. Part of the construction will be finished by December of this year, that will be the trail construction, and the plantings, and the parking lot.  Next year in 2018 we hope to finish it off by installing a demonstration garden, a hoop house, and an outdoor classroom.”

What areas and activities are planned for the space?”

“There’s going to be quite a few trails for hiking and walking, watching birds and butterflies. We’re going to be putting in some bath houses and bird houses. There will be some signs so you can learn about the wetland ecology. And then there’s the demonstration garden and the community garden for people who want to learn more about that, or just take part in that. There’s going to be a planting called a food forest which will have native tree species that bear nuts and fruits, as well as an orchard. One of the things I didn’t mention yet is the confederate cemetery, and that’s a really interesting thing. There are over a hundred graves there, and so that would be another way to learn about confederate history as well as Monterey community history.”

“What can members of the community do to support the establishment of the park?”

“Since part of it is being funded by donations, a donation is always welcome. We’re also looking for volunteers, there’s a wide range of things that can be done such as researching the history so we know what to put on the signs at the confederate cemetery. Or maintenance items such as trash pick-up once the park is built there will be other volunteer needs for the demonstration garden and educational activities. So anybody that is interested, we’d be happy to hear from you.”

“Who will manage the park once it is completed?”

“Well we’re not quite sure at this time. It’s probably going to be either the county, or the town of Monterey. But that is yet to be determined.”

“Is there any other information about the project that you would like to share with the listeners?”

“I think it’s really going to be a neat thing to have right in the middle of Monterey, this beautiful park is really going to be an attraction once it’s done. If anybody wants anymore information they can contact me at the Highland Center, Lorraine McCune (540) 468-1922”

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

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