Ballantyne Magazine

SUMMER 2018

Ballantyne Magazine covers news, events, real estate, restaurants, shopping, health, schools and business in the upscale Ballantyne Area of Charlotte, NC.

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W H O K N E W ? Bringing Neighbors Together Efird Park is community gem By Dawn Liles | Photos courtesy of Efird Park L ong, lazy days spent picnicking, playing and exploring at a neighborhood park are some of summer's most memorable moments. Ballantyne-area residents are fortunate to have easy access to Marvin's Efird Park, the vision of former Union County Commissioner Lanny Openshaw. Openshaw and scores of volunteers helped develop the land in May 2012 to create a community space for both Marvin residents and visitors to enjoy. Some of the park's popular features are the cottage garden, maintained by local master gar- dener Mary Sipe; a redwood playground; walk- ing trails and a community garden. Applications for the 38 community garden plots are available in January and February and sell out quickly. When parkgoers enter through a large wrought-iron gate, they encounter an impres- sive 30-by-60 barn with a patio area. The barn may be rented for private events of up to 100 people, such as first communion parties, graduation fes- tivities, scout gatherings and birthday parties. Derek Durst started as a park volunteer and was hired as the park manager in 2017. He says the Village of Marvin likes working with community youth groups to get them involved in maintaining and developing the park. "One of the goals of the village is to build partnerships with local groups," says Durst. "We encourage high school service groups to contact us if they have an idea for group service or are looking for suggestions." Often, new projects are conceived through collaboration. "A Girl Scout troop called and offered to pick up sticks around the park, and I suggested they also might want Photo by Dawn Liles Who Knew? 85 BALLANTYNE SUMMER 2018 Mary Sipe and Derek Durst

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