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The Daily Tar Heel
Town Talk

Carrboro aldermen talk suggestions for town park

The Carrboro Board of Alderman heard three suggestions for projects in the Martin Luther King Jr. Park Wednesday night.

Alderman Jacquelyn Gist wanted to make sure other members in the community knew tonight’s suggestions were not the finalists.

“There are many, many people who have great ideas that are not here tonight,” Gist said. “We don’t want anybody feeling that because there are three groups that have gotten invited here tonight, that that gives them an advantage over other groups.”

Tamara Sanders, The Clean Machine manager, presented the idea of a pump track, which is a bicycle track design that utilizes gentle mounds and banks in its design.

“Essentially, what you do is you ride around them with a pumping motion,” she said. “So, it is something where you are using gravity and your body-momentum to get around without pedaling.”

Sanders said they are extremely attractive to mountain bikers, and she believes a lot of kids will use and enjoy it as well.

“Carrboro is one of the most bike-friendly communities in North Carolina,” Sanders said.

Maria Hitt, the Carrboro community garden director, said she wanted land in the park to be used for green purposes.

Hitt said the Carrboro Community Garden helps many families at or below the poverty line, and allows them the opportunity to grow fresh food, learn how to cook healthy meals and it allows them to be involved in the community.

“We know kids are eating fresh veggies,” Hitt said. “We know their families are appreciative to grow fresh food. We are building community. We are building relationship, and families are learning new skills.”

She said she wants to see more kids using the park as their playground — climbing trees in the park and building fairy houses underneath them.”

Jeff Danner, Sr. director of operations at Grifols Therapeutics, presented the idea of planting pollinators. Danner ACRIS.pdf

“One thing that hurts pollinators is the sort of sterile, chemical expanse that is the modern American lawn,” Danner said. “It is an almost barren landscape for them, and we maintain it everywhere. If no one is walking on it or having a game of soccer, it shouldn’t be a manicured lawn.”

Danner said no matter what project the board chooses to do in the park, there will be spaces for his project.

Alderman Sammy Slade said it is really valuable to see that the community is taking initiative and wanting to pitch their projects.

“This is an essential component of democracy,” Slade said. 


The Board of Alderman discussed the possibility of asking the Carrboro Police Department to consider postponing the issuing of citations to drivers without a license, or at least consider issuing only a warning.

Gist said she is concerned with how the police may approach each person they pull over based on their appearance.

“If an officer pulls somebody who they think is Hispanic and that person does not have a license, they may react one way if we pass this,” Gist said.

The aldermen decided to try to pass the immigration resolution because their amendments will slow it down.


“Thank you for your presentation," said Slade, in response after Sarah Collins, regulatory affairs associate at N.C. League of Municipalities, made a presentation regarding the status of hydraulic fracturing in North Carolina. "It makes me sick.” 

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