In 1998 as an NCSU student doing my internship, I spent my summer in Cabarrus County working with what is now Cabarrus Active Living and Parks. Through the years, I have maintained friendships with many of those who helped me get real-world experiences that summer and have had to opportunity to also work with them professionally. In the 29 years since I’ve been gone, they have added new parks and expanded on the school park program. On a recent visit in the area, I was able to visit Rob Wallace Park.
Rob Wallace Park is a 143-acre park with natural habitat and plans that will phase the land into a modern and green space. The park has a boardwalk, fishing pond, mountain and bike trails, playground and picnic areas, and the park office. Future plans include nature classrooms, additional play areas, piers and trails that use the natural resources in the area. And from the website, I found out an aerial adventure park is under consideration for this space.
My Saturday morning visit included time to walk some of the trails, especially the path around the fishing pond, and enjoy the porch swing out by the pond and garden. While out in the park, I noticed what I thought was trash in the woods and later realized it was part of the Woodland Wonders trail, complete with a sign indicating I should explore at my own risk. At the picnic shelter, I saw a very nice sign that was hinged to indicate how the shelter can be reserved and that it has already been reserved (check out the photos to see this). I love how our park & recreation agencies are informing captive audiences. This is the second time, I’ve been informed about upcoming park events while in the bathroom. Very clever to have a sign that can be updated over the hand dryer.
Before leaving the park, I went inside the park office to find a number of exhibits. While talking to a staff member, he told me about a trail camera in the park and how they have ‘captured’ deer, wild turkeys, and bobcat. But his final greeting to me as I left the building was the most impactful. He said, “Enjoy your Park”. It was fantastic to encounter someone who has this kind of enthusiasm for their park and wanted to share it with me.
For more information on Rob Wallace Park located at 12900 Bethel School Road in Midland, visit https://www.cabarruscounty.us/location/rob-wallace-park