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Got next: Dana residents launch park campaign

DANA — Like the rest of the county, Dana is catching park fever.

In a year that has seen new parks and recreation projects by Henderson County, Mills River, Fletcher, Flat Rock and Laurel Park, Dana leaders have set a community planning meeting for June 4 to present a proposed redevelopment of its current park on Dana Road.
"We're going to go over that picture" that shows the park improvements, said Lee Roy Nicholson, one of the leaders of the park effort. "We've got it laid out in different phases. We'll start with one phase and move to the others as we get money."
The next step after the public meeting is to raise money, Nicholson said.
"Our projection is it's going to cost $11,000 to do the first little phase," he said.
Overall cost is about $500,000, he said, but community leaders aren't seeking that much in one sum.
"We hope that we'll get money from the county but there's nothing we can say about that at this time," he said. "We've not really approached (the county commissioners). This is a county park and our community is trying to raise funds to help redo the park in conjunction with the county Recreation Department. The county's in charge of the park. We're just trying to help make it happen. We want to get community support and actually do some of the work and not pay somebody to do all of it."
"Naturally, the county commissioners are aware of what we're doing," he said. "That park plan was approved when we did our Dana area plan that area plan was approved by the county commissioners."
Currently, Dana Community Park, on Upward Road, contains a ball field, playground, community center and pavilion. The landscape architect's rendering of the improvements includes a farm-themed playground, walking loops from .12 to .31 mile, a hard-surface basketball and volleyball court, parking and community center upgrades,
During the meeting next month, residents can comment on the conceptual plan, which Dana leaders developed along with the county Planning and Parks and Recreation departments. The meeting is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, at the Refuge Family Life Center.
In a letter going out this week to Dana residents, the park advocates invite the community to give input on the plans and also seek donations.
"By now I'm sure you're wondering, who's going to pay for this?" the letter says. "The answer is two-fold — community contributions and grants can be used to rebuild our park. As in most instances with other parks in the county, the community demonstrates support by providing donations either monetary or in-kind."
The community leaders have formed Friends of Dana Park Inc., a non-profit corporation that has a goal of raising $11,000.
"We would like to begin construction in the fall of 2013," said the letter, signed by the Friends of Dana Park — Nicholson, Norma Pryor, Phyllis Fitzsimons, Evan Williams, Ben Lanning, Charlene Medlin, Whitney Staton-Hebert and Rocky Hyder.