City of Saluda receives grant for McCreery Park development 

Published 10:05 am Tuesday, July 4, 2023

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SALUDA—The Carolina Foothills Foundation recently awarded a grant of $200,000 to the City of Saluda to support the development of an outdoor educational facility for McCreery Park, renovations to parking and access improvements for the community. 

Rita Burch, CEO and President of the Carolina Foothills Foundation announced the grant, stating that the foundation is committed to supporting the health challenges faced by people in Polk and Rutherford counties. The grant will help make McCreery Park a focal point downtown and the entrance corridor to the future Saluda Grade Trail within the city. 

Commissioner Mark Oxtoby was instrumental in explaining the needs of Saluda to the Foundation. The project will evolve through public input and the vision and guidance of The Friends of McCreery Park Foundation. The City of Saluda anticipates that this project will take two years to complete and will be built out in four phases. 

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The city has already received $170,000 from the North Carolina Department of Commerce Rural Transformation Grant and is planning to apply for the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund Grant, which would award an additional $200,000. City Manager Stephen Orr said the goal is to raise $500,000 to fund the park by applying for other grants over the next two or three years. Individual donors will also be welcome to donate to the park’s construction and future maintenance. 

The Outdoor Educational Facility will be an important component of McCreery Park for the public, providing a space that allows access to learning opportunities that may not be possible in other educational settings.