On a recent trip to Moore County, I visited Rassie Wicker Park in Pinehurst. The development of this 103-acre park began in 1997. The park has two shuffleboard and two bocce ball courts, two tennis courts, a soccer field, in-line hockey rink, playground, a splash pad, paved walking trails, brick sidewalks, expanded trail system and concession stand/restroom facility. A section of the greenway is a Born Learning Trail which is a series of 10 interactive signs that offer fun, active learning activities for young children and their families. Rassie Wicker Park is also home to the 33-acre Arboretum that was developed by the Village Heritage Foundation and built with private funds. The Arboretum’s Gardens and Timmel Pavilion are popular locations for weddings, receptions and other events.
In doing a little reading, I discovered that as a surveyor Rassie Wicker was involved with the design and layout of Pinehurst. The site was owned by the Wicker family and donated for a park. While talking to Park & Recreation Director Mark Wagner, I discovered the soccer fields at this park are set to become the temporary site of the Pinehurst Elementary School in December. This will be the case for two and a half years as the old school is demolished and a new school is built back on the site. They are currently discussing how to operate the school will also keeping the park open to the public. I can see the kids wanting to visit the splash pad during recess.
While searching the Pinehurst website in advance of my visit, I discovered equipment can be checked out. They offer tennis rackets, pickleball paddles, shuffleboard cues and discs, bocce ball, horseshoes and discs for playing disc golf. A feature of the park that caught my eye was a small square structure with what looked like a chimney coming out of it. A little reading confirmed that it was indeed a chimney and is habitat for Chimney Swifts. The four sides of the structure had information about the Chimney Swifts and why providing habitat for them is important. After watching a while, I wasn’t lucky enough to see any visiting the site.
As with most of my park visits, I needed a full day to explore and enjoy. You can learn more about the amenities at Rassie Wicker Park by visiting http://www.vopnc.org/our-government/departments/parks-recreation