It's open! Jack Smith Park, Cary's newest park and home to its first sprayground, opened quietly Wednesday with plans for a big celebration on Sept. 10.
The park at 9725 Penny Rd. includes a children's play area, climbing rock, picnic shelters, dog park, paved and unpaved trails and that sprayground. An opening celebration is planned Sept. 10, but the spot is open for play now.
The park was named after Smith, a current town council member, in 2014 when construction began. At that time, Smith had served 25 years on the Cary Council. The project cost about $4.5 million. Most of the money was approved by Cary voters in 2012 as part of the Community Investment Bonds referendum.
The 50-acre Jack Smith Park was once home to the Bartley family farm, which inspired a couple of public art pieces on site. Artist Vollis Simpson has designed a towering whirligig from machine parts and farm equipment. It sits near the play area. Artist William Moore, who created the Katal Dragon at Marla Dorrel Park, created a group of sheep sculptures (which kids are welcome to climb on).
Park hours are sunrise to sunset. The sprayground is scheduled to be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., daily, through mid-September.
The event on Sept. 10 includes the dedication at 10 a.m., followed by family and dog-friendly activities at 11 a.m. Limited parking is available in the lot at the park. A free shuttle will run from Oak Grove Elementary School on Penny Road beginning at 9:15 a.m. and continuing until 12:30 p.m.