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Creecy School project to add walking trail

JACKSON – Work to develop recreational options at the former Rich Square Creecy School site are continuing, according to Northampton County’s Recreation Director James Roberts. That project will soon include a walking trail for citizens to enjoy.

Roberts gave an update to the Board of Commissioners at their regular meeting here on April 5. He reported the county had recently received a $15,000 donation from Enviva to be used to construct a pedestrian trail at the site.

“Work is scheduled to begin in the next two weeks, weather permitting,” he said.

KPH Paving and Landscaping Inc. will perform the task.

Roberts also said there are plans to remove three dead or dying trees from the path for safety reasons.

“This is just the beginning of the kinds of things they want to do for us,” said Board Chair Charles Tyner about Enviva’s donation.

He also noted that they are planning to work with other local companies to bring grant money to the Creecy project.

Commissioner Geneva Faulkner, who represents Rich Square as a part of her district, requested that the recreation department put up a gate in the parking lot to keep tractor trailers from taking up space.

Faulkner also stated she was pleased to see the progress towards opening the recreational facility. This project is one part of the Board of Commissioners’ strategic plan to provide closer-to-home recreation options to citizens across the county.

The Board of Commissioners obtained the 15.5-acre Creecy property in October 2019 from the Northampton County Board of Education. It was conveyed to them for no monetary consideration for the intended use of developing the property for recreational purposes and community outreach.

The school’s gym had been cleaned up and was ready to open but safety precautions from the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to those plans. County Manager Charles Jackson announced at Monday’s meeting, however, that the recreation department will begin operating a basketball program at the Creecy gym soon, as the COVID case numbers continue to decline.

In addition to the Creecy update, Roberts stated the upgrades to the Cultural and Wellness Center in Jackson are currently in progress. Those improvements include a new conference room as well as an expanded fitness room to hold a wider variety of exercise equipment.

“Our membership has picked up,” Roberts also reported.