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Selma opens renovated Vick Park to visitors

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SELMA — The Vick Park renovation project, a collaborative effort by the Selma Appearance Commission and Selma Public Works Department located at 112 E. Anderson St., is officially complete.

To mark the occasion, a ceremonial ribbon-cutting was held at the park on Oct. 25 with some 30 guests in attendance, including town leaders and elected officials.

“Through lots of hard work and the dedication of so many, Vick Park is ready to be enjoyed by citizens and visitors,” said Melissa Dooley, Selma’s parks and recreation programs and events coordinator.

Dooley said the Selma Town Council approved the project, previously known as the East Anderson Street Park Redevelopment Plan, in 2010, but the park improvements finally became a reality only this year.

“The goal of the project was mainly to bring up the appearance of the park as well as an effort to draw citizens to the area,” said Dooley.

All funding for the project came out of the appearance commission’s annual budget.

According to Dooley, the appearance commission established a goal in January for the project to be completed this calendar year. Work began in February.

“Since the 2010 appearance commission felt it necessary to dedicate the park to a person, place or event integral to Selma’s identity, Vick Park is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Joshua Vick and George Vick known for the Vick’s Vapo-Rub product that was invented in Selma,” said town code administrator Tomeka Moore.

Among the agencies and individuals who contributed to the project were artist Dorothy Finiello, who painted the town mural painted on the brick building within the park, Cindy Brookshire, Judy Stiles-Boyette and Little Free Libraries of Johnston County, whose members collaborated to place a mini-library kiosk in the park. The Selma Parks and Recreation Department installed park benches and picnic tables.

“We would like for everyone to use and enjoy the park,” said Moore. “I have already noticed citizens visiting the downtown area stopping in at the park, whether it is just to rest or simply admire the scenery. Some use the park for their lunch break.”

According to Moore, rules for closing Vick Park to conduct private events have not yet been established, although the parks and recreation department located directly beside Vick Park hopes to use the area for events.

Moore said residents also need to keep in mind Section 13-121 of the town code regarding hours of operation that states all parks are closed from sundown to sunrise unless specific authorization is given by the town manager or his authorized designee.

Dooley said the appearance commission expects to tackle uptown Selma revitalization and cleanup as its next project.