Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Kiwanis Club, Raleigh neighborhood work to raise money for city park project

Posted May 31

The city of Raleigh is planning an overhaul to the 1950s-era park near the city's Five Points neighborhood.

The Kiwanis Club of Raleigh and a group of Raleigh residents are working to raise $400,000 to make sure a playground, among other amenities, is included in plans to update an aging city park. A big event is scheduled this weekend to support the effort.

Kiwanis Park, 2525 Noble Rd., near Raleigh's Five Points neighborhood, was built, thanks to the Kiwanis Club of Raleigh, in the 1950s. It currently includes a neighborhood center, which is open only for special programs and rentals; a picnic shelter; small playground; and sports fields.

The 30-acre park is about to get a big infusion of city funds, thanks, in part, to a 2014 parks bond that includes money for upgrades to facilities like the park's dated neighborhood center. City plans now call for a massive overhaul, including a new fully staffed community center to replace the older building, a new picnic shelter and bathrooms.

About $700,000 from the parks bond, along with another $300,000 in city funds, will pay for the new community center, shelter and bathrooms. But that money isn't enough to pay for other pieces of the park plan, which neighbors have sought, including a playground, basketball court, dog park, pickle ball court and greenway connection. About $400,000 is still needed.

The Kiwanis Club, which has been raising money toward renovations for the park for the last couple of years, and some in the neighborhood are working to make up the difference. The Kiwanis Club has committed to matching community donations up to $250,000. Neighborhood residents, led by Jen Schrage, a Raleigh mom of three, are working to raise money from residents and local businesses.

This weekend, Schrage has organized the Five Points Food Truck Rodeo & Kiwanis Park Fundraiser. It's 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Sunday, at the park on Noble Road. The free event includes a variety of food trucks, along with activities for families. They include a bounce house, games and crafts. There will be opportunities to learn more about the project and donate money.

Supporters also are raising money through a special page on YouCaring.com, an online fundraising site, which will continue to accept donations after Sunday's event. Schrage said the city is working on opportunities for donors to be recognized at the park once it's complete.

Construction at the park could start as soon as November.

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