Asheboro’s park plan honors Jarrell family

ASHEBORO — More action should commence soon in turning an Asheboro park from a mere vision to a special recreational and relaxation area.

Saturday’s ceremonial groundbreaking at the location was another step.

“Going forward, we will be losing more and more green space,” Mayor David Smith said. “Having an opportunity provided by the Jarrell family to save this amazing historic site right downtown is wonderful. You don’t have an opportunity often to save a piece of property like this.”

Asheboro mayor David Smith, right, and Cody Craddock of North Carolina Cooperative Extension view the grounds at the David and Pauline Jarrell Center City Garden. (PJ WARD-BROWN  |  NORTH STATE JOURNAL)

City officials have referred to the park as occupying a spot in a historic neighborhood within walking distance to downtown. It’s intended to be used by residents and visitors.

The park is named the David and Pauline Jarrell Center City Garden after a former Asheboro mayor and his wife.

The land was formerly owned by Gov. Jonathan Worth in the mid-1800s. The garden sits on about 3 acres.

Based on past meetings and surveys, the city’s intent is to have a public open space that will include gardens, parking, a visitor center, and references to the historic site.

“A real gem of a tourism asset and a quality of life asset,” Smith said. “Going forward, some of our kids may never see a green space garden like we’re talking about building here.”

The Jarrells were instrumental in creating a place for the park by donating and selling much of the land along Cox Street to the city. Community support has come from fundraising and providing seed money for the project.

“I’ve dreamed about this particular piece of property becoming public space for many, many years.”

The city purchased some adjacent land to enlarge the garden’s grounds, Smith said.

A master plan was formed in 2021. That included input from a design team from Prospect Architecture.

By 2022, the Piedmont Triad Regional Council of Government was involved in assisting with grand funding.

Construction should begin soon, perhaps this month. There’s no revealed timetable for the project’s opening.

Plans are in place for the David and Pauline Jarrell Center City Garden in Asheboro. (PJ WARD-BROWN  |  NORTH STATE JOURNAL)

The historical components and nurturing of native plants could be among the highlights, Smith said.

“It’s a great thing for downtown Asheboro,” he said. “It will be a 3-acre property in downtown Asheboro that will give a lot of people a chance to relax, meditate, enjoy nature. Many different types of enjoyment with this property.”

David and Pauline Jarrell and many family members attended Saturday’s public unveiling. A landscaping bed was installed at the property entrance, and tours of the park were provided.

Now, Smith said the project seems much closer to reality,

“Get this done and finished,” he said. “We see this as another asset in our quality of life puzzle.”

By Bob Sutton