The Rock Springs Nature Preserve was dedicated Saturday morning (June 7th) in honor of Sylvia Holmes. Holmes, a long-time parks and recreation advocate, began working to establish parks in eastern Lincoln County in the mid-1990s.
The Preserve is located on Pine Ridge Drive just off Campground Road in Denver.
Holmes was instrumental in creating the Beatty's Ford Park further south on Lake Norman. She started the effort for the park in 1997 and convinced Duke Power to lease property to the County and spearheaded fund-raising efforts to create that park.
When Duke did not include the 106-acre area that became Rock Springs Nature Preserve in its relicensing agreement in 2005, she and other members of the Lincoln Natural Resources Committee worked to develop a plan for the acquisition of the land which includes Little Creek Cove, the location where Lincoln County gets water from Lake Norman for the County water system. The land was purchased in 2008. Holmes worked to help secure a $1.6 million low interest loan to pay for the purchase. The County got a $50,000 grant from Duke's Wildlife & Habitat Enhancement Program. Then in October 2011, a $415,000 grant from the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund provided almost half the money necessary to finish the 'active' portion of the Preserve: the restrooms, picnic shelter, parking area and trails currently open.
County Commission Chairman Alex Patton and Commissioner Jim Klein thanked Holmes for her efforts and said the honor was well-deserved. "If you ever need money from Commissioners, she's the lady to have on your side," said Klein, who is leaving the Commission in December at the end of his current term.
Recreation Director Erma Deen Hoyle said the Preserve is a major addition to the County's recreational facilities. Future plans call for further development of an amphitheater and extension of the Carolina Thread Trail from the Preserve to Denver.
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