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Flat Rock dedicates Bryan Playground

Kendall Bryan, Eleanor Bryan, Pierce Mathews, John Mathews, Charlton Mathews and Eleanor Bryan Mathews. Kendall Bryan, Eleanor Bryan, Pierce Mathews, John Mathews, Charlton Mathews and Eleanor Bryan Mathews.

FLAT ROCK — Eleanor Bryan snipped a big red ribbon at the Bryan Playground in Flat Rock Park on Saturday morning, officially opening the play area designed to get kids off their smart phones and into nature.

“We are just thrilled with the end result," Eleanor Bryan said. "It couldn’t be better.”

The Flat Rock Village Council unveiled a plaque honoring the Bryans’ four children, who now have children of their own.

Kendall Bryan said he wanted kids to stop playing on their phones and start playing outside in creative ways.

Flat Rock Village Council member John Dockendorf echoed the idea.

“The playground committee wanted to create one that makes kids want to play longer outdoors and one that beats video games,” he said.
After making a generous donation to the playground last summer, the Bryans saw the playground for the first time in April.
“I really want to applaud them,” Dockendorf said of the couple. “They have given a gift to all the children of Western North Carolina.”
Beanstalk Builders from Morganton made the council’s vision come to life.
“We ended up with something better than expected," said Dockendorf, who runs a summer camp and an adventure guide business. "The Flat Rock Council wanted something cutting edge. They embraced an innovative playground.”
The Bryan Playground, the first public playground in Flat Rock, is already attracting big crowds.
“They had the capacity to do something big and they did it,” Maurean Adams said of the Bryans. “The finished product is all about the enjoyment of the kids."