Although the production of Salt Creek Park is currently on hiatus, the city hopes it can be completed sometime next summer.
According to the American Planning Association, parks provide people contact with nature, known to confer certain health benefits and enhance well-being.
Jennifer Conway, executive director of the Graham Chamber of Commerce, said that she believes the new park will be an asset to Graham for many reasons.
“A well-maintained park is a selling feature for people to move to our community and enjoy a higher quality of life,” she said, adding that the park is designed to have several features that can host a variety of events to bring more people to visit the community. “The more people you can bring to town to visit or live, the (more the) economy is positively impacted.”
Additionally, Conway explained that if the park is well-maintained, community efforts toward making and keeping Graham a cleaner place could increase as a result.
“The clearing of the structures and land in preparation for the park has already made an improvement in that area,” Conway said. “I am confident a well-maintained park will draw people into our community as they may have ‘passed us by’ while traveling on 67 and 380.”
Once complete, the park can provide a place for citizens to exercise and improve health with interaction with nature and fresh air.
The APA states that a neighborhood park may function as a venue for social interaction, physical activity and nature contact. In addition to increased exposure to nature, community interest and the possibility of an economy boost, Conway said that park security has been taken into consideration as an important factor regarding the new park.