Our Impact

We’re champions of making parks and recreation resources available to all

Since 2012, the Friends has provided more than 1.3 million dollars to the redevelopment and enhancements made to Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Parks, Greenways and Programs.

Current Projects

Jim Huegerich Remembrance Contributions

A number of folks have asked how they may be able to help memorialize Jim Huegerich and his legacy in serving the Town of Chapel Hill. In keeping with Jim’s love of creation his family requests that remembrances be made in the form of contributions to help fund memorial benches that can be installed along the greenways that he pedaled, ran and walked so often.

Chapel Hill Trees

The town and the Friends have embarked on a continual project to plant a variety of native trees throughout Chapel Hill. The success of this program will be driven by a partnership between the Town, the Friends, the NC Botanical Gardens, donations, and volunteers.

Chapel Hill Adopt-a-Trail

Chapel Hill Adopt-a-Trail is a forest restoration program removing invasive plants along our greenways, planting native species, and promoting connective public art. This opens the surrounding woods and invites people into areas of wildlife, boulders, creeks, and trees.

Totally Inclusive Playground

Town Council and The Friends are very excited about plans taking shape for a playground suitable for any child. The playground will be located in the Cedar Falls Park. Work has begun on the design and we should have a cost estimate soon. Stay tuned!

Memorial Benches

With a custom memorial bench along the Bolin Creek Trail, we remember Joe Herzenberg for making key improvements to the trail he loved and invite others to do the same by contributing to adding benches for Morgan Creek Trail, Merritts Pasture, Bolin Creek Trail. Joe served as a town council member for many years and went on to serve as a member and chair of the Parks, Recreation and Greenways Commission for seven years. He promoted greenways issues across the entire Town, but especially along Bolin Creek. He was a champion of the concepts of extending the Trail, providing public art on the trails, and emphatically, providing more benches.

Pickleball

Not many people know that the Town has Pickleball courts! We need additional support for the programming and development for the sport of Pickleball.

Back to School Backpack Program

Each year the staff of the Town’s Hargraves Center works with individuals and businesses to raise funds for lower income families to send their children to school with new book bags and school supplies.

Grow to Life

In partnership with the Town of Chapel Parks and Recreation Department since 2014, Grow to Life serves the community through a drive-thru distribution site at Homestead Park and additional deliveries to families in need of emergency food and supplies.

Completed Projects

Chapel Hill Sand Volleyball Courts

The Friends collaborated with Blue Sky Volleyball and interested citizens to foster support for a new Sand Volleyball Complex at Umstead Park. In addition to $20,000 dollars raised by the Friends and Blue Sky Volleyball, grants from Strowd Roses Foundation, the Oaks Foundation, USA Volleyball, and the Parks and Recreation department all contributed to completing the new Volleyball Complex.

Bolin Creek Greenway Stairs

Enhanced pedestrian and bicycle access and connectivity to the Bolin Creek Trail with a new set of stairs installed via the East Franklin Street sidewalk. The Bolin Creek Trail spans from the Chapel Hill Community Center on S. Estes Drive to Umstead Park, and on to the Northside neighborhood and Downtown Chapel Hill via the recently improved Tanyard Branch Trail and Bolin Creek Trail connector. Bolin Creek Trail also connects the Community Center Park with the Battle Branch Trail leading to the UNC campus.

Turf Fields at Homestead Park

Thanks to a joint project among the Town of Chapel Hill, Triangle United Soccer, Rainbow Soccer and Friends of Chapel HIll Parks, Recreation and Greenways, Homestead park has two new artificial turf fields, accessible walkways and fencing. The new turf fields use a special 100 percent natural infill product, made of organic cork granules and sand. This product is completely recyclable and sustainable, and provides significant heat reduction. It meets or exceeds all industry standards for player safety.

Aquatic Timing System

An anonymous donor started this project with a $5,000 donation to The Friends. Then various high school athletic booster clubs donated another $8,400. The result was the purchase and installation of a quality timing system for swim meets at the Homestead Aquatics Center.

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