Spencer’s Yadkin River Park Trailhead Selected for Regional Award

Feb 9, 2023

Project recognized by Centralina Regional Council for improving quality of life

Town staff and officials at awards ceremony.

Left to Right: Town Manager Peter Franzese, Mayor Jonathan Williams, Special Projects Planner Joe Morris, and Adlerwoman Pat Sledge at the February 8 ceremony in Charlotte (photo courtesy of Centralina Regional Council).

CHARLOTTE – Centralina Regional Council (Centralina) has announced the recipients of its 2022 Region of Excellence Awards, which included a major project currently under construction in the Town of Spencer.

Spencer’s Yadkin River Park Trailhead was the Small Community Winner in the Improving Quality of Life category. The Town was awarded for utilizing cooperative volunteerism to expand community, recreational, and transportation opportunities. The new trailhead will offer seamless connectivity between Rowan County and amenities on the Davidson County side of Yadkin River Park. Once completed, the park will enhance nearby properties by leveraging scenic views of the river. The project will also expand recreational opportunities for families and offer carbon-free transportation alternatives for commuters.

Mayor Jonathan Williams, Alderwoman and Centralina Board of Delegates Member Pat Sledge, Special Projects Planner Joe Morris, and Town Manager Peter Franzese attended the February 8 ceremony where Mayor Williams accepted the award on behalf of the Town.

“We are building a model small Town for all of North Carolina, and adding big opportunities to live, play, and work,” said Mayor Williams. “We thank the selection committee for recognizing our efforts and are proud to collaborate with an outstanding group of partners on this project.”

Yadkin River Park Trailhead rendering

Yadkin River Park Trailhead Rendering by Benesch.

Designed by Benesch and currently under construction by Hall Contracting Corporation, the trailhead will feature a landscaped plaza connecting to the Wil-Cox bridge and Davidson County’s Yadkin River Park, along with about 1,100 feet trail, the first piece of a long-planned greenway connection between the heart of Spencer and the river. The trailhead will also add vehicle parking on the Rowan County side of the bridge, with the goal of creating a seamless park for visitors to enjoy on both sides of the river. The visual connection across the river represents the collaboration among both Davidson and Rowan Counties, and the variety of funding partners, to establish a truly original experience for locals and visitors.

Project photo

The project site as of January 2023.

Town staff and officials have worked closely with neighbors in Davidson County, and funding partners such as Friends of Rowan, the Blanche and Julian Robertson Family Foundation, the Carolina Thread Trail, NC State Parks Recreational Trail Program, and Rowan County. Additionally, the Town’s ARPA Supplanted funds are contributing towards the project.

Presented annually, these awards recognize individuals, communities, and organizations for their outstanding achievements over the previous calendar year in support of Centralina’s mission to expand opportunity and improve quality of life in the nine-county region that includes Anson, Cabarrus, Gaston, Lincoln, Iredell, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly and Union counties. An independent panel of judges selected the award winners. For more information, a video of the awards ceremony, and Centralina’s full press release, go to centralina.org/regional-collaboration/region-of-excellence-awards.

2022 Centralina Region of Excellence awardees

Joe Morris, second from right, is pictured with group of award winners in Charlotte on February 8 (photo courtesy of Centralina Regional Council).

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