By Nikki Caswell
For the last seven years, I’ve called Greenville, NC home. Well, to be fair, I’ve really called it home for about the last two years and firmly held onto my Cleveland, Ohio roots the first few years after I moved. As a career move, joining the faculty at East Carolina was the smartest thing I did. Socially though, as a (then) single 20-something and now 30-something, I had no idea with Greenville, NC had to offer me.
In an attempt to make friends outside of ECU, I joined a local running group and somehow that led to me being appointed to the City of Greenville’s Recreation and Parks Commission. For the last 4 years I’ve sat on that commission and was grateful for the opportunity to be Madame Chair this past year. I’m happily carrying on in that role for one more year, and in this role I’ve challenged myself to share more of what Recreation and Parks has to offer the community because it’s constantly evolving. Much has changed in the four years I’ve been on the commission: new playgrounds (Westpointe Park, Town Common Inclusive), new greenways (extender), the splashpoint! at Dream park … and even more is in the works over the next 5-10 years. The Greenville we know now isn’t the Greenville I moved to.
Throughout the year, Greenville Recreation and Parks sponsors and co-sponsors hundreds of family-friendly, all ages events, camps, and leagues within the city. Some of the camps and sports leagues come with fees to off-set the costs, but there are plenty of free events open to the community. One of the more popular events include the Sunday in the Park concert series. This Sunday, June 30th at 7pm the Feebs band will playing. During the next two weeks, you could see the Field of Honor which is open at Town Common until July 13th. On Wednesday, July 4th the City presents its annual Independence Day celebration at Town Common. Live music from the Six Pack Band and Radio Sparks begins at 4pm.
Just earlier this week (Monday, June 24th), the Sycamore Hill Gateway Plaza broke ground on the western edge of Town Common. Gateway Plaza commemorates the history of the Sycamore Hill Baptist Church and the African American community known as Downtown. My hope is that as Gateway Plaza comes to fruition more individuals will learn the rich history of the Downtown Community.
In spring and early summer, you can also find Zumba and Yoga in the Park on Tuesdays and the Thursdays. A few times a year, you’ll find free, family friendly Movies in the Parks. Or, if you take a walk along the Greenway by the Tar River, there are moments you forget you are in a city. The greenery (and the colored leaves in the fall) are breath taking.
Whether you are in your 20s or 70s, single or partnered, with or without children, there’s things (free things!!) to do in Greenville, NC. Our Recreation and Parks division strives to create an active community, and an active Recreation and Parks division is a sign of a healthy, thriving city. We have that.
For more information, contact the Recreation and Parks at 252-329-4567. Their office is located at Jaycee Park, 2000 Cedar Lane Greenville, NC. Or, visit their website: https://www.greenvillenc.gov/government/recreation-parks