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Letter to the Editor: Battle Park is a natural treasure for Rocky Mount

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

I am writing this letter as a Rocky Mount citizen and member of Friends of Battle Park, a group that works to beautify and celebrate Battle Park by clearing out invasive species and facilitating events for the community, such as the Rocky Mount Children’s Museum and Science Center-sponsored nature walks.

Since I was a little kid who hopped across the river rocks to see how close I could get to the waterfall, Battle Park has been one of my favorite places in Rocky Mount, and I want others to treasure it, too. I learn more about its beauty and historic value every day. For example, I didn’t know it as a child, but the waterfall I’ve always admired marks the fall line separating Coastal Plain from Piedmont. Our city wouldn’t be here without the fall line, and we wouldn’t have our name without the Park’s historic Rocky Mound.

Among the Park’s other attractions are wooded walking trails, picnic areas, overlooks, a gazebo and a stump circle for gatherings.

The Park is also a natural marvel, home to hundreds of North Carolina native plant species. Many of them are quite useful. For example, not only do beautyberry’s distinctive purple berries make a tasty jelly, but its leaves also make a convenient insect repellent.

Other species include spicebush, host of the Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly, blueberry, elderberry, yucca and devil’s walking stick, just to name a few. Battle Park is also home to tall trees like loblolly pine, sugar maple, and the venerable old oak. Together, these plants provide food, shelter and nesting places for songbirds, small mammals and butterflies, not to mention beautiful scenery for us to enjoy.

If you’ve never been to Battle Park, come out and see the views! Bring your dog, friends and significant other! Join Friends of Battle Park for a nature walk or woods cleanup! This is your Park, your heritage, and your treasure, Rocky Mount. Enjoy it!

LAURA TODD

Friends of Battle Park, Rocky Mount

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