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Grand opening of Mary Hayes Barber Holmes Park

By Paul Horne
Posted Friday, October 15, 2010

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Pittsboro, NC - The grand opening of the Mary Hayes Barber Holmes Park in Pittsboro was a great success, due largely to the energy which the Carolina Brewery brought to the event through their well orchestrated 5K race. Kudos to Taylor and Robert at the Carolina Brewery, along with volunteers from the Pittsboro Running Club who organized the race.

The music of Judy and the Redbyrds was excellent as were the kids' activities provided by Louise Omoto Kessel and Samantha from Pittsboro Toys.


The ceremony itself was short and informal. Town Manager Bill Terry thanked the Barber and Holmes Family for their generous land donation, and East West Partners for their sustained interest in the project. The Town's elected officials were thanked for their support. Karen Hall of the NCSU Water Quality Group was acknowledged for her assistance in funding the permeable pavers in the parking lot, the living roof on the gazebo, and the beautiful raingarden. Appreciation was expressed for Laura Lauffer, the Sustainability Coordinator at the CCCC, for her student's installation of the living roof on the gazebo. Frank Fitzgerald, president of the Chatham Soccer League, was noted for his pledge to provide soccer goals in the near future. Others critical to making the project a success were thanked as well.

"When the Holmes family was negotiating with East West Partners about turning their property into a mixed-use development, their first thought could have been, 'well, how much profit can we make from this transaction?' but that was not their first thought. Their first thought was, 'how can we find some way to give back to the community?' The result was that the family insisted that a portion of the land be donated to a public purpose."

These are the elegant words of Bill Terry, Pittsboro's Town Manager, at the opening ceremony of the Mary Hayes Barber Holmes Park. He continued, "The park's namesake, Mary Holmes, who died two years ago, was someone who loved the out of doors. So while she's no longer with us, I think the end result would have been very pleasing to her - so we owe a great debt of gratitude to her and the entire extended Barber Holmes family for their forethought in making sure that Pittsboro ended up with this beautiful park facility."

I ran into one of the prime organizers with the Friends of the Library recently, and he mentioned how glad he was that we named the park after Mary Holmes. He said that without her influence and excitement about that cause, he never would have gotten involved. Mind you this is a real mover and shaker, someone who's largely responsible for the great work that the Friends of the Library continues to do. What a loss to our community if he had not have gotten involved. While I never had the pleasure of making her acquaintance, after hearing so many community members share equally inspiring stories about Mary Holmes, I'm really pleased that the park bears her name.

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Grand opening of Mary Hayes Barber Holmes Park

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