History of Green Valley Park

The Beginning

GVCP was borne out of a desire to provide recreational and outdoor educational opportunities for the children of our community. We set out to create, within the general vicinity of Green Valley School, a multipurpose community park.

In September 2000, after more than a year of searching for an ideal site, GVCP purchased 12 acres of land on Big Hill Road nestled alongside the New River, about 3.5 miles from Green Valley School. In partnership with the National Committee for the New River, we purchased 7 acres adjacent to the original property, using funds provided through a grant from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund. Plans for most of that acreage involve protection of the native stream to reduce sedimentation in the river and establishment of a healthy vegetative buffer along the river and the stream.

The early years

    • A small group of residents began discussions about the need for a park in the Green Valley Community of Watauga County, North Carolina. At a Green Valley Elementary PTSA meeting, they invited residents to a community meeting on the idea.
    • The first community meeting was held on April 15, and regular monthly meetings ensued.
    • A Board of Directors was elected.
    • Articles of Incorporation, Constitution & By-Laws (modeled after those of Valle Crucis Community Park ) were written and approved, officially establishing Green Valley Community Park, Inc. (GVCP).
    • 501(c)(3) paperwork seeking non-profit status was initiated.
    • The search for suitable property for the park began.
    • GVCP was awarded a $10,000 matching grant from the Watauga County Community Recreational Grants for the purchase of park property.  A generous donation by former GVCP Board member Cher Zavik and her husband Jeffrey Zavik provided one-half of the matching funds. (The grant and matching funds were applied to the down payment on the park property in 2000.)


  • The 501(c)(3) application was approved; Green Valley Community Park, Inc. became a tax-exempt organization.
    • September 22—After searching for property for 18 months, the organization purchased 12 acres on the New River (purchase price: $229,165.00). Board member Brian Mueller and his wife Rhonda Mueller generously provided closing costs for the purchase.
    • November—A raffle, culminating at a square dance at Green Valley School , raised roughly $4,000.
    • December—The organization was offered a $5,000 matching grant from Watauga County Community Recreational Grants for development of an athletic field. We declined the grant due to the matching requirement and the necessity of committing all funds raised to the mortgage debt.


    • January—Park was placed on American Heritage River-New River Work Plan by New River Community Partners.
    • April—We received a small development grant ($900) from the Phillip Morris Company.
    • May—The first fund-raising letter, sent to all property owners in the Meat Camp Fire District, which is roughly the same area as Green Valley School 's district, brought in $17,800.
    • June 2—The first Green Valley Community Park Celebration on the New River was held. It included performances by musical groups, children's activities, craft and food booths, a raffle, and book signings and readings by authors of local interest. A heritage and wildlife parade officially kicked off the event, with costumed walkers and bikers and a flotilla of boaters and floaters, beginning at the park property and proceeding to the Walter and Annie Cook Park in Todd. The Celebration netted over $10,000.00.
    • Summer—An Eagle Scout candidate prepared a hiking trail at the park.
    • October—A raffle, culminating at a square dance at Green Valley School , netted $2,435.00. A bluegrass band provided music. Members of Aid Association of Lutherans from Bethany Lutheran Church provided refreshments.
    • December—Janirve Foundation in Asheville awarded GVCP $15,000 for payment on principal of park mortgage.


  • April—The second fund-raising letter sent to area property owners generated $2,000.
    • April/May— Riverkeepers , working with the National Committee for the New River and the local Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency, planted 2400 silky dogwoods along the park's riverbank to prevent erosion.
    • June 1—The second park Celebration was held again in Todd at the Walter and Annie Cook Park , and it included most of the activities of the previous year's event. Media coverage was outstanding, and the turnout was good, although profits were lower than the previous year.
    • June 30—A groundbreaking ceremony was held at the park, to which supporters, contributors, members of the local news media, and state and local elected representatives were invited.
    • Summer—A walking trail linking the parking area at the picnic shelter to the lower part of the park was developed by an Eagle Scout candidate.
    • September 14—A raffle concluded at the First Annual Boone Blue Grass Festival at which the park had a booth.
    • October—Using a grant for $4,800 from the NC Adopt-A-Trail program, we graded and graveled the parking area adjacent to the planned picnic shelter, built a canoe landing, and further developed the walking trail.


  • Spring—Using $900 grant from Boone Service League, we constructed guardrails around parking and picnic areas.
    • May—GVCP was awarded a SETRAC grant by the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce for advertising for the third Green Valley Park Celebration on the New River.
    • June 7—The Celebration and another raffle drawing were held in conjunction with a 5-K race that was very successful, although a soaking rain all day diminished the festival's overall success.
    • June—Watauga County Commissioners approved use of county resources to grade and prepare the athletic field.
    • September—Work began on the grading of the athletic field, after state permits were obtained.


  • May—GVCP met with representatives of the Todd Community Preservation Organization and HandMade in America to consider jointly seeking grant funding for a playground. (However, this effort was later deemed not feasible.)
    • June-August—Work began on the picnic shelter with the setting and notching of the support poles. Several businesses within the community arranged for the donation of materials and manpower.
    • July-October—The road by the park was prepared for paving. Extra dirt was dumped and spread at the park and created an area for an eventual playground near the picnic shelter and better access to the athletic field.
    • July—GVCP was awarded an Adopt-A-Trail grant of $4,800 by the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources for the purchase of benches to be installed on the park's hiking/walking trail.
    • July 30, 2004—Seven acres of adjoining property were purchased using a grant from the NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund, obtained on our behalf by the National Committee for the New River . It provided dramatically improved access to the playing fields, wetland and the canoe ramp.
    • August—We launched a campaign, Make Your Mark On the Park , wherein families and businesses were invited to fund squares of park property for a commitment of $10 per square, per month, for 2 years, or an equivalent donation. Contributions to Make Your Mark on the Park totaled approximately $16,400.
    • Fall—Construction continued on the picnic shelter and the main athletic field.•  


  • April-May—A footbridge, connecting original property to property purchased in 2004, was built by an Eagle Scout.
    • Late April-June—Over several work sessions, the picnic shelter roof was completed; a community resident donated his time and use of his crane to set the trusses, and several board members and community residents helped as well.
    • May-June—Four benches purchased with Adopt-A-Trail grant funds were installed; locations were set for of 5 more.
    • July—The gable ends of the picnic shelter were closed in.
    • July—GVCP was awarded an Adopt-a-Trail grant of $3,300 for informational trail signs and two bike racks.
    • July-August—Wet-weather springs on perimeter of the athletic field were ditched, and drainage pipe was installed.
    • August-September—Soil amendments were applied, and the athletic field was over-seeded.
    • August 27—A fundraising event - including a hot dog supper, a barn dance, and the culmination of a raffle - was held at Green Valley School , yielding $4,320, including a donation of $800 from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.
    • September 16—GVCP served as an exchange point for the inaugural Blue Ridge Relay Bike Race.
    • October 8—GVCP served food at the Green Valley School Fall Festival, raising nearly $600 for the park.
    • November— Make Your Mark on the Park display sign was constructed and installed at Green Valley School .
    • December—Update letters about the park were sent to Mark on the Park donors and Green Valley School families.  Contributions to Make Your Mark on the Park totaled approximately $19,600.


  • January—A workday was held for trail improvement and bench installation.
    • March—Brush was burned from the banks in a training session for area firefighters.
    • Summer—We completed main athletic field & picnic shelter (prepped/poured slab, created French drains, graded & grassed perimeter, stained gable ends, installed park sign to western gable, assembled and installed picnic tables)
    • Summer— Watauga County Commissioners approved allocation of $20,000 in matching funds, spurred by a pledge of $20,000 by the Ginn Corporation.
    • Summer— 2006 Challenge Campaign was launched to raise $100,000 by January 1, 2007, to match two anonymous, private pledges of $50,000 each for mortgage retirement.
    • Summer— Green Valley Park was approved for a $50,000 grant through the Farm Service Agency to restore the bog.
    • August—A Celebration was held at the park, featuring music, food, games, raffle, and dedication of shelter, as well as presentation by the Ginn Corporation of a check for $20,000 for park development.
    • October—GVCP served food and sold park apparel at the Green Valley School Fall Festival.
    • November—A concert was held at Boone UMC to benefit the 2006 Challenge Campaign, raising nearly $3,000.