The town of Cary is really on a roll with the new parks ...
Carpenter Park, 4420 Louis Stephens Rd., recently opened in western Cary. The 16-acre park includes a playground, basketball court, terraced lawn, preserved forest, pedestrian trail, pickleball courts, a picnic shelter, a central pond with an earthen dam and the town's second community garden.
The $3 million park is paid for thanks to the 2012 Community Bond Referendum, which voters approved. An official park dedication is scheduled for spring 2017, but it's open now for play.
Amy Mackintosh, a town landscape architect, shared some pictures of the playground. She tells me that town officials are working to add more shade to the structures. Right now, there is a shade sail over the preschool area, but there's no cover for the play pieces designed for ages 5 to 12.
"We will be planting trees this fall to augment the ones currently planted," Mackintosh tells me. "The playground is in shade for much of the morning thanks to the adjacent woods on the east side, but can get hot at midday and afternoon. Other than that it’s a fun place to play, and the park also includes a pond with a trail around it and informal play lawns, so I think it will be a great place to take kids to burn off some energy."
The park also is home to a privately funded memorial for American Eagle flights 3378 and 3379 that crashed in Cary in 1988 and 1994, respectively. Carpenter Park is about one mile from where Flight 3379 came down, according to a town press release. The memorial’s semi-circular terrace has two sloping walls with five trees in the center representing Flight 3379 survivors; the trees at the back of the memorial are for the 27 people who died in both crashes. All 12 passengers on Flight 3378 died, while 15 people died on Flight 3379.
This is the town's 31st park. This summer, the town also opened Jack Smith Park, which features the town's first sprayground and second dog park.