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County breaks ground on Tuxedo park

Park contractor Leon Allison, Green River farmer Theron Maybin, county commissioners Grady Hawkins, Charlie Messer, Tommy Thompson and Mike Edney, and local leaders David Hill and Terry Maybin break ground at Tuxedo Park. Park contractor Leon Allison, Green River farmer Theron Maybin, county commissioners Grady Hawkins, Charlie Messer, Tommy Thompson and Mike Edney, and local leaders David Hill and Terry Maybin break ground at Tuxedo Park.

TUXEDO — Green River residents, Henderson County commissioners and others celebrated the groundbreaking of a long-awaited community park in Tuxedo on Monday.


Residents of Green River, Tuxedo and Zirconia dubbed the event "Pies for the Park" because the groundbreaking is the first slice of the pie of their new park.

"This is a great day," said Henderson County Commission Chair Charlie Messer. "I can honestly say this is a community park for the residents here. The people of this community finally get a park that you have helped design and it's going to go a long way in helping Henderson County as a whole."
Tuxedo Park came together with help from both Tuxedo locals, who raised $28,000 for the project, and the Henderson County Commissioners, who appropriated more than $600,000 over the past several years to demolish the old Tuxedo Mill and start construction.
Phases one and two of the project include development of a meadow for sports, a paved walking trail, parking and landscaping. The work is expected to be complete by November, weather permitting.
The park was in the planning stages for many years because of a lack of usable land.
"We've been looking for land for 18 years," said Terry Maybin, vice chair of the Henderson County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and a longtime sparkplug for the Green River Community Association. "We finally did it! It's going to be the most desired park in Henderson County."
Ideally, the park will give the residents, especially the children, of Tuxedo a safe place to play sports or just enjoy Henderson County, Messer said.

The newest in a series of parks that former County Commissioner Bill O'Connor once described as a "string of emeralds," Tuxedo Community Park would be the southernmost of the recreation spaces. In the past three years, the Board of Commissioners has made major investments in Jackson Park and Etowah Lions Park and bought the old Hendersonvile Christian School property, which gave the county Recreation Department its first gym and became the county's first artificial turf soccer field. Mills River and Flat Rock also built parks.
"The county commissioners are very, very interested in making this happen," County Commissioner Tommy Thompson said. "Next spring we're going to come down here and play on the swings."