Yadkin River Park: A Community Dream Turned Reality

By Rukmini Kalamangalam | Posted on February 29, 2024


Pictured: Davidson County (North Carolina) Parks and Recreation director, NRPA staff, Bobcat Company staff and community members pose for a picture at the Yadkin River Park Community Day. Photo credit: SnapHappy Photos

Salisbury, North Carolina resident and Bobcat employee Sherri Talbert recalls her hometown as a place that felt overlooked. Growing up she said the city — less than affectionately known as Shotsbury — didn’t have much infrastructure for families. However, there is a growing revitalization of this area, which borders Davidson County. Thanks to Bobcat Company, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and Davidson County Parks and Recreation, a new family-friendly park is opening less than 20 minutes away.

Yadkin River Park features a playground, bog garden, koi fish lake, dog park and other amenities that will provide the families of Salisbury, Lexington, and other neighboring cities a safe place for recreation. On October 3, 2023, Bobcat volunteers from the headquarters at Statesville joined forces with other community partners, including several North Carolina Master Gardeners, to plant dozens of native plants around the perimeter of the koi pond. These plants make up a rain garden that will filter pollutants out of rainwater before it enters the watershed. Installing green infrastructure elements like the rain garden is just the first step. Evaluation is key to tracking success and early identification of areas for improvement. Tools like NRPA’s Green Infrastructure Evaluation Framework provide a step-by-step guide.

Davidson County Parks and Recreation is one of five park agencies across the country that received Bobcat and NRPA funding to make improvements to a local park. As part of this grant, Davidson County Parks and Recreation received $50,000, a brand new Bobcat zero-turn mower and the assistance of the agency’s local Bobcat dealer, Bobcat of Lexington. Other grantees include the City of Stonecrest, Georgia; the City of Auburn, Washington; the San Antonio River Authority, Texas; and the City of Buffalo, New York. Each of these park agencies, along with community partners, completed a project that benefits both park users and the environment.

During the park’s community day, stakeholders, including local politicians, spoke about the long road to making this dream park a reality. Max Walser, former Davidson County commissioner, was a young man when he dreamt of taking Yadkin River Park to the heights it is achieving now. His fellow elected officials were skeptical at the scope of his vision and now, as a retiree and community member, he’s watching that vision come to life. Yadkin River Park will open to the public in April of this year.


Pictured: Bobcat employee volunteers and NRPA staff take a picture on Davidson County’s new Bobcat zero-turn mower. Photo credit: SnapHappy Photos

Several Bobcat employees who participated in Yadkin River Park’s community day were excited to be part of Davidson County’s investment in this park, remarking how nice it was to see real, ongoing improvements in their hometown. Ayanna Williams, NRPA’s director of community and environmental resilience, shares, “I am thrilled to support local park and recreation professionals and volunteers building more community. This project is creating an ‘ecosystem’ for families and pollinators alike. Between corporate partners and community investment, there are many people who had a hand in making this park a reality, and even more who will benefit from all it has to offer.”



Watch below to learn more about how Bobcat and NRPA are working together to support community parks: