While the grand opening ceremony is not until May 15, Nash County’s newest park, the Miracle Park at Coopers, quietly opened to the public on Monday.
The park, which is located at 3471 Joyner Road in Elm City, has been under construction since October 2018. It features several activities and amenities that are open to the public, including two baseball and softball fields, two outdoor basketball courts, two soccer fields, a walking trail, a special events lawn and an all-inclusive playground that provides activities that children with special needs can access.
While the Nash County Parks and Recreation Department operates and maintains five parks in the county through cooperation agreements with local municipalities, Nash County Miracle Park at Coopers is the first park entirely owned by the county.
The other parks operated by Nash County include W.B. Ennis Memorial Park in Red Oak, J.W. Glover Park in Nashville, Castalia Community Park, Spring Hope Community Park and Bailey/Middlesex Community Park.
Thomas Gillespie, director of the Nash County Parks and Recreation Department, said county officials saw a need for a park in the Coopers community.
“In 2004, the Nash County Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Master Plan identified the need for a district park at the Tar River Reservoir. However, in 2008, the plan was amended to add a community park in the Coopers area to fill in a section of the county that would not be served by municipalities,” Gillespie said.
In 2014, both parks were included in the Nash County Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Master Plan. In 2017, Nash County purchased 46 acres of land at 3471 Joyner Road for the construction of Miracle Park, Gillespie said.
The price tag for Phase I of the park is about $2.6 million. Roughly $918,000 of that came from county funds. Nash County also received funding for the project from a variety of other sources, including a $750,000 grant from Trillium Health Resources, a $500,000 grant from the state Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, a $250,000 donation from the Coopers Community Development Corp., a $125,000 grant from the General Assembly and a $60,000 grant from the Baseball Tomorrow Fund.
The park is open to the public every day from dawn till dusk, Gillespie said.