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From floods to fun Park named after Boone mayors

Article Published: Oct. 29, 2009 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
From floods to fun Park named after Boone mayors

Former Boone Mayor Velma Burnley (left) and current Mayor Loretta Clawson are shown at the park that bears their names.

Photo submitted

Boone Mayor Loretta Clawson and former mayor Velma Burnley publicly opened the Clawson-Burnley Park off Hunting Hills Lane near the National Guard Armory in Boone on Oct. 20.

"The genesis of this beautiful park began in the mid-1990s when the Town Council had the vision to begin a flood mitigation project on what is now park property," a spokesperson for the town said.

"The town began the first residential acquisition projects of flood-prone properties in the state, acquiring over 33 single- and multi-family homes and the 12-bed Glenstone Nursing Home," the spokesperson said. "The project was funded primarily with state and federal hazard mitigation grants. When the homes were cleared or re-located from the neighborhood, plans were developed to create a park that had both passive and active recreation elements."

Three years ago, the town of Boone leased approximately one-half of the property to the county so that it could construct ball fields to meet the demands of its recreation department.

Last year, the town began construction of a 1.5-acre wetland in the park to filter stormwater runoff of a 30-acre area in this part of town before it drains into the New River.

Town staff began construction of a park in the spring of 2009, with the expansion of walking trails, picnic shelters and copious plantings of shrubbery and trees.

Work on the park will continue next spring, so that a dedication can be held on July 4 of 2010, the spokesperson said.

"The park's construction has been a priority for both Mayor Burnley and Mayor Clawson, and town staff installed the park's sign on Oct. 19 to officially open the park for public use," the spokesperson said.

The Town Council named the park after Clawson and Burnley to acknowledge their combined service of 30 years to the town as elected officials and their work in making the park a reality, the spokesperson said.

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