The Pigeon Point Neighborhood Association wants to install more benches, equipment and other improvements to Pigeon Point Park and has numerous fundraisers in the planning stages.(Photo: File, The Beaufort Gazette)
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Claudia Webb says Pigeon Point Park becomes more popular with each passing year, as more people walk and jog on a path, frolic on the playground or celebrate birthdays.
It's a trend many in the neighborhood want to continue, so Webb is leading a fundraising campaign by the Pigeon Point Neighborhood Crime Watch to pay for picnic tables, benches and other amenities.
The "Touch a Truck, Make a Memory" fundraiser will start with a party from 9 a.m. to noon April 21 at the park off of Pigeon Point Road. Children will be able to touch and climb onto city public-works, police, fire and emergency-services vehicles, and enjoy free cookies and juice.
To raise money, the crime watch will sell memorial bricks for $37.50. They can be engraved with a personal message and will be used in park construction.
Six years ago, the park reopened after extensive renovations that transformed the dilapidated park into a family-friendly environment. The city provided manpower through its Public Works Department; state grants paid some costs, and the neighborhood crime watch raised money, city manager Scott Dadson said.
"It came in way over budget for what (the city) could do immediately, so whenever there's something that comes up, we say, 'What can we do?'" Webb said.
About a decade ago, Wood + Partners landscape-architecture and planning firm created a master plan for the park that included a winding trail, playground, gardens, an information sign, picnic tables and shelters. Although the playground, walkway and one set of restrooms have been built, about $500,000 worth of work remains, Dadson estimates.
"It's amazing what they've done so far," fundraiser volunteer Betty Betz said. "It's becoming a beautiful park, and it's really used by a lot of people."
The crime watch will donate proceeds from the fundraiser to the city, which owns the park, to pay for picnic tables, benches, playground equipment, a community bulletin board and other amenities, Betz said. Ideally, Pigeon Point Park would have about six picnic areas, she said.
Webb hopes the crime watch can match the $12,000 it raised during the first round of renovations.