The Sedgefield neighborhood is working with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to develop a park.
The former CMS Family Application Center building along Marsh Road in the Sedgefield neighborhood was demolished.
When a CMS building is no longer needed, often they are demolished, and land can be used the neighborhood in partnership with CMS.
Todd Sherrill, senior portfolio manager for CMS, manages all maintenance operations, renovations and construction projects for more than 60 CMS schools and buildings.
He recently partnered with the Madison Park neighborhood when the former Pinewood Elementary School was demolished to develop a plan to improve the property.
“If CMS has a property that isn’t being used, such as a grassy field, then in a lot of cases, the neighborhoods have stepped up saying they want to use it in various capacities,” said Sherrill.
“First thing I lay out on the table is that the primary use of this property is educational facilities-use. However, we would like the land to be used by the neighborhood when CMS isn’t using it.”
Martin Doss, president of the Madison Park Homeowners Association, partnered with Sherrill to develop the park.
“We had no park in Madison Park so this park is a nice amenity for our community and CMS,” said Martin. “The park is centrally located for our 2,350 homes. We had looked at other locations for a possible pocket park, but could never make it work out.”
The Madison Park neighborhood hosted public meetings to discuss how the park should be developed. With the assistance of CMS, they designed the park.
The Madison Park Homeowners Association applied for and received a neighborhood matching grant to pay for the project.
As part of the matching grant, certain volunteer hour requirements must be met. The building of the park was a large neighborhood effort with some work days on which more than 125 volunteers to build garden beds, plant trees, spread mulch, and pull weeds.
The property is now home to a rose garden, which is maintained by the Madison Park Garden Club along with neighborhood residents, a disc golf course, and neighborhood-sponsored events such as an annual Halloween Trunk or Treat.
“I advise neighborhoods to feed people’s interest by doing certain improvements at a time.” said Sherrill.
“For instance, I may recommend to first add benches and a walking path. Once those are done and used, then you can add little features to bring more people in. You want people to see the value of the improvements and the property. Then you continue to move toward further improvements and an end result, the finished park.”
The Sedgefield Homeowners Association is reviewing improvements that could be made to the land.
Jennifer Ford is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Jennifer? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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