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50 at 50 - May 26

Updated: Friday, May 26, 2017
On May 15, I reached one of those milestones in life - celebrating my 50th birthday.  So far, it has been great.  And honestly, it doesn’t feel much different than 49.  A 50th birthday is to be celebrated and in the months leading up to the big day, I thought about what I wanted to do to mark the occasion.  I’m not one for jumping out of airplanes so I’m settling on something a little more simplistic that will bring me great joy.

If you didn’t already know, I LOVE parks!  And in my 50 years, I’ve been to quite a few of them - local parks, state parks and national parks.  During the upcoming year, I’m going to expand on the list of parks I have visited and my goal is to visit 50 “new to me” parks.   When researching if this project was possible, I discovered that here in Wake County, there are over 200 parks and I can promise you there are many of them I have not visited.  I will not be limiting my visits to just Wake County or even NC.  

Just like people, parks come in all shapes, sizes and with different traits and characteristics.  Over the course of the next year, I hope you will join me on the journey and learn about some “new to you” parks as well.  

My first park is not only new to me, but new to most everyone else as well - Downtown Park in Cary. The soon to be 6 acre park, opened the first acre this spring and is part of the downtown redevelopment.  It is located near the heart of downtown and across from the Arts Center.  Don’t let the passive appearance of this park fool you.  In addition to the centerpiece fountain, there is table tennis and foosball available.  Soon after the opening, yoga and other exercise classes were offered and some summer concerts are planned.  To learn more, visit the official site for Downtown Park at 

50 at 50 is the journey of NCRPA’s Executive Director Michelle Wells as she celebrates her 50th birthday by visiting 50 ‘new to her’ parks before 5/14/2018.  Published on Fridays, look for the next stop in this adventure.  All posts in this series can be found by searching the tag 50at50.  

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Tags:  50at50  NCRecre8  parks  recreation 

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