The Granville Athletic Park (GAP) has been added to a growing list of recreational areas that now feature the StoryWalk® Project, a family-friendly activity that combines outdoor exercise with early literacy. Implemented by the Granville County Library System and strongly supported by the Granville County Board of Commissioners, StoryWalk® offers an innovative way to get families out walking together while enjoying the pages of colorfully illustrated children’s books.
The project was created in 2007 by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont, a former chronic disease prevention specialist, who had an idea to create “something different, fun and interesting” to bring families together. Through a collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition and the Kellogg Hubbard Library, StoryWalk® was developed, introducing children to reading while encouraging outdoor activity.
“I knew I wanted to create something where the parents had to be as active as the children,” Ferguson has said about her idea. “Active parents have active children, and physical activity is a key component to chronic disease prevention.”
Since being introduced, the StoryWalk® Project has spread to all 50 states and has been added to parks in several North Carolina counties. County Commissioner Tim Karan (District 6) was instrumental in soliciting support for the project and in bringing it to Granville County.
“Granville County Government continues to provide wraparound services to its residents,” Commissioner Karan remarked. “Recreation and literacy are important to the lives of young families. Every opportunity we have to get a book in front of a child, especially in a setting where physical activity can be included, is a win-win, and what better place to introduce StoryWalk® than in the County’s largest recreational space.”
Pages included on each colorfully illustrated storyboard take children along an educational path through the Granville Athletic Park, with the first page located at the new playground (near the tennis courts) in the park’s Phase III expansion. The book currently featured on the StoryWalk® is “One Duck Stuck,” a rhythmic counting tale. Amy Carlson, Children’s Librarian for the Richard H. Thornton Library, notes that stories will rotate several times during the year.
The Granville Athletic Park now totals 80 acres and is located at 4615 Belltown Road in Oxford. To learn more about the GAP, please visit the GAP home page. To learn more about the StoryWalk® Project, please visit www.kellogghubbard.org.
Granville County is requesting proposals for consulting services to assist in the development and implementation of a service district (or service districts) for fire protection, ambulance and rescue service, consistent with North Carolina State Statutes.
Proposals will be accepted through 1 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 20, 2021 and may be mailed to:
Office of the Granville County Manager
P.O. Box 906
Oxford NC 27565
Proposals may also be delivered in person to 104 Belle Street in Oxford. (Faxed copies will not be accepted.)
Please mark all envelopes containing proposals as “Proposal for Fire, Ambulance and Rescue District(s) Consulting Services.”
To view the proposed scope of services for this project, please click here.
The Phase III expansion of the Granville Athletic Park (GAP) was formally opened on Saturday, July 24 with an unveiling of the dedication rock and engraved plaque on the 11-acre site. The ceremony was held in the park’s newly-completed pavilion, with Board of Commissioners Chair Sue Hinman presiding.
The vision to expand the 69-acre Granville Athletic Park began in 2013 when the County obtained additional acreage to construct tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, an inclusive playground space, a fitness station, open green space, corn hole pads and a nearby shelter area. Future plans include an additional nine holes for the existing disc golf course.
Funding for the expansion project included grants from:
- * Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF), $300,000
- * Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), $250,000
- * U.S. Tennis Association, $50,000
- * U.S. Tennis Association Southern, $20,000
Instrumental in the planning and support of the Park expansion was Michael McFadden, Chair of Granville County’s Parks, Greenways and Recreation Advisory Committee, who joined others in providing comments during the dedication ceremony.
“I’ve seen this Park go from Phase I, and then the dedication of Phase II, and now it’s a real pleasure to watch Phase III get dedicated,” McFadden said. “I am very grateful and humbled about how Granville County Government operates and works to meet the recreational needs of our citizens, including the inclusive parts of the Park.”
Manager of the project was Scott Phillips, Granville County Development Services Director, with assistance from C3 Design and Engineering and construction by H.G. Reynolds Company, Inc.
Now at 80 acres, the Granville Athletic Park is located at 4615 Belltown Road in Oxford and is Granville County’s largest outdoor recreational area. To learn more about the Park, please visit www.granvillecounty.org.
Pictured are Board of Commissioners Chair Sue Hinman; Assistant County Manager Korena Weichel; former Granville County Management Analyst Charla Duncan; Granville County Parks, Greenways and Recreation Committee Chair Michael McFadden; Commissioner Russ May; Commissioner Zelodis Jay; County Manager Michael Felts; Commissioner Jimmy Gooch; Commissioner Tony Cozart; Commissioner Tim Karan; Commissioner David Smith; and Charlynne Smith, Director of Recreation Resources Service (PARTF and LWCF funding).
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is seeking public comment on the proposed Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) block grant plan, which outlines how federal LIHWAP block grant funds will be spent in North Carolina in the coming state fiscal year.
LIHWAP provides assistance to low income households with their water and wastewater bills. States are given broad latitude under block grant funding to design and operate their own programs, under certain restrictions.
The plan may be reviewed through Aug. 4, 2021 at the following locations:
* Granville County Department of Social Services web pages (click here.)
* Online on the Division of Social Services website (click here to view.)
Any water or wastewater vendor interested in signing a vendor agreement to accept LIHWAP funds on behalf of customers, please contact Jasmyne Simmons at jasmyne.Simmons@dhhs.nc.gov.
Written comments will be accepted in writing no later than Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021 via:
* Any agency where the plan is displayed, or
* Mail, postmarked no later than Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021 to:
RE: LIHWAP Plan Comments
Assistant Secretary for County
Operations 2420 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-2420
To submit your comments, please use the form here.
Granville County Government announces the addition of two new hires to the Administration team.
Terry Hobgood is Granville County’s new Deputy Clerk and will perform administrative work and support for the Clerk to the Board and the County Manager’s Office. Hobgood comes to Granville County Government with experience as City Clerk and Public Information Officer for the City of Creedmoor. A 2017 graduate of the UNC School of Government’s Clerk Certification Institute, he also holds a Masters degree in Library and Information Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a Master of Arts in English from North Carolina State University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies from UNC Wilmington. Hobgood is a native of Oxford and a 2003 graduate of J.F. Webb High School. He currently resides in Durham with his wife Bevan.
Hobgood was hired to fill the role of former Deputy Clerk Patrice Wilkerson, who transferred to the Granville County Department of Social Services.
Granville County’s new Human Resources Specialist is Sheri Bailey, who will provide administrative and program support to the County’s Human Resources Department. Formerly a Licensure Specialist with Vance County Schools, Bailey is certified in H.R.D. Employability Skills/Job Readiness through Vance-Granville Community College and is currently being certified in Human Resource Management from Fayetteville Tech Community College. She is a graduate of Louisburg High School and lives in Henderson.
Bailey replaces the County’s H.R. Specialist Barbara Burwell, who retires at the end of July.
Granville County Government is one of the county’s largest employers, with more than 300 on staff. For more information about positions with Granville County Government, please click here.
The Granville County Board of Commissioners will hold their regular scheduled meeting at the Granville County Expo and Convention Center, 4185 Highway 15 South in Oxford, on Monday, Aug. 2, 2021. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. This will be an-in person meeting.
Any questions should be directed to Debra Weary, Clerk to the Board, at 919-603-1307 or sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view the agenda, please click here.
A fun-loving industry geared to growing imaginations now operates from the Falls Lake II Business Park in Butner. Nugget Comfort, located at 200 Business Park Drive, creates children’s furniture that doubles as a toy, allowing children to configure colorful foam cushions into many imaginative possibilities.
The basic four-piece couch manufactured at the Butner site, affectionately called “The Nugget,” comes in an assortment of fun colors that appeal to children AND to their parents, with the idea that “play couches” can be easily converted into beds, chairs, slides – even a fort or a playhouse.
“Children are creative people,” company co-founder David Baron has said about the customers he serves. “Our goal was to convince parents that the Nugget would encourage their children’s creativity.”
The idea for “Nugget’ came in an unexpected way as Baron and fellow UNC graduate Ryan Cocca looked for a better option for dorm furniture. After purchasing a futon while a residence hall student, Baron found it uncomfortable and difficult to assemble. Working together, Baron and Cocca developed a more comfortable and versatile modular couch geared to college students.
Their prototype was introduced to Hannah Fussell, an elementary school teacher and fellow UNC alumnus, who suggested that it might be a better fit for young children Together, the three friends co-founded Nugget, opening their company in Durham in 2014. In 2020, Nugget moved into a 93,000+ square foot facility in nearby Butner. According to the Nugget website, the new location is filled with “Willy Wonka – meets – kids – furniture goodness.”
Granville County Economic Development played a role in the relocation, helping identify a building which suited the company’s growing needs. In October of 2020, Nugget was awarded a Community Development Block Grant from the N.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority which aided in the expansion and renovation of the building. The $460,000 grant, which required a match from Granville County (approved by the Granville County Board of Commissioners), helped meet basic facility needs – such as electrical, plumbing, piping drywall, flooring and painting – while creating new jobs.
At their new, larger location, Nugget produces thousands of “nuggets” per day. The colorful foam cushions enable children to create any structure they can imagine. An added bonus is that the colorful micro-suede covers are washable and can be easily slipped over the cushions to provide comfort, convenience and versatility, a great selling point for parents with young children. By 2019, “the Nugget” had caught the attention of CNBC, who named it one of the “hottest gifts for kids” during the holiday season.
During the 2020 season, sales skyrocketed when “quarantined” families with young children suddenly found themselves looking for new and creative ways to spend time at home during a nationwide pandemic. “The Nugget” became so popular that more than 200,000 parents asked to be put on a waiting list after an unexpected surge in demand. This newfound popularity helped boost the company’s standing in the children’s furniture market as parents discovered – and are continuing to discover – the value of “The Nugget” in all stages of their children’s development.
“Nugget was born out of a desire to create an ideal futon for the college dorm room,” a company statement reads on their social media page. “Since then, word has spread about our comfy piece of furniture that doubles as the coolest toy in the house. From three-year-olds crawling through a foam tunnel to middle-schoolers in need of a homework chair, Nugget encourages and excites in ways that furniture simply hasn’t before. We’re glad it’s here, and we hope you are too.”
To learn more about Nugget Comfort, visit their website at https://nuggetcomfort.com.
Granville County Veterans Services Officer (VSO) Rodney Frazier announces the addition of Bruce Parrish to the Granville County Veterans Services team. A decorated Army veteran and Granville County native, Parrish will serve as Veterans Services Technician and will assist in meeting the needs of local Veterans.
“We want all of our veterans to know that we are here and ready to assist,” VSO Frazier said. “Bruce brings a plethora of skills to this new role and is passionate about meeting the needs of our brothers and sisters. We welcome him to our team.”
Parrish is a graduate of the University of Phoenix, earning a B.S. degree in Organizational Security and Management. Through his military experience, he offers skills in management, leadership training, security, conflict resolution and problem solving to this new position.
On July 26, the Veterans Services office will move from the Granville County Senior Center in Oxford to 141 Williamsboro Street (former County Administration Office). Frazier says that the new location will be more spacious and better equipped, allowing for a better overall experience for the county’s veteran population.
“We welcome all county veterans and invite them to stop in for a visit after the move,” Frazier said.
The Veterans Services Office can be reached at 919-693-1484.
Beginning August 2, branches of the Granville County Library System will offer Wi-Fi hotspots for “checkout” for patrons age 18 years and older. Through a grant provided by the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), ten hotspots will be available for checkout for seven days to library card holders in good standing, offering unlimited data usage and connectivity from almost anywhere.
Made possible by the State Library of North Carolina and the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences, the LSTA grant funding will help ensure that all individuals and communities, especially those who may be disadvantaged, have access to information and communication technologies. In most cases, a single hotspot can support up to ten devices simultaneously.
Branches of the Granville County Library System are located in Oxford (Richard H. Thornton Library), Creedmoor (South Branch), Stovall and Berea.
For more information. please contact your local library branch or click here for the Granville County Library System website.
Granville County celebrates 275 years of history and progress on July 24 at the Granville Athletic Park in Oxford. The community-wide event kicks off with the dedication of the Phase III expansion of the Park (9 a.m.) to officially mark the completion of the new amenities. The addition of six tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, an all-inclusive playground, a sheltered pavilion, a fitness station, open play space and additional parking are all included in the expansion, which adds 11 acres to the already existing GAP.
Following the dedication will be opening ceremonies for Granville County’s 275th Anniversary Celebration at 10 a.m., with a presentation of colors and remarks from local dignitaries. Activities and entertainment are planned throughout the day (until 4 p.m.) as residents and visitors are encouraged to explore the park, choose from a wide variety of food truck menus, enjoy live music and programs, and learn more about resources available throughout the county.
Entertainment from the amphitheater stage includes all local performers and puts a spotlight on community talent ranging from gospel/inspirational singers to jazz/R&B performers. Also included is bluegrass music, local theater, line dancing and more, appealing to all ages and musical preferences.
* 11:00, Frank Sossamon, southern gospel favorites and hymns
* 11:30, Oxford Housing Authority, African drumming demonstration
* 12:00, Mary Potter Community Choir, gospel selections
* 12:30, Silvanus Slaughter, folk, jazz, rhythm & blues
* 1:00, Granville Little Theater, historical skit/musical theater
* 1:30, Gwen Rubio and Friends, mid-day stretch, line dancing
* 2:00, God’s Men of Harmony, a cappella gospel, praise music
* 2:30, Backyard Bluegrass Band, bluegrass, country
* 3:00, Jonathan Abbott, gospel, patriotic favorites
* 3:30, Detroit Yancey, inspirational, jazz, rhythm & blues
Local author Lewis Bowling will be available at the GAP’s Sport Pavilion, signing copies of his new book, “Looking Back: 275 Years of Granville County History.” This work, a comprehensive review of the last 275 years, tells the County’s story in Bowling’s familiar narrative style and through rare photos. For those who have not yet purchased this coffee-table style book, copies will be available on site, as well as commemorative souvenir coins that mark the County’s milestone anniversary.
Serving as a presentation area for local programs of interest is the GAP’s outdoor classroom space, located along the walking trail in the Jonesland Environmental Preserve. Scheduled programs from this site include:
* 11:00: Our Tobacco Heritage, Gary Cross, N.C. Cooperative Extension,
Granville County, with special guest Billy Yeargin;
* 1:00: Reading Food Labels (informational workshop through the
Creative Lifelong Learning program). Granville County Senior
Services, facilitated by Linda Robinson;
* 3:00: Meet John Penn, featuring the Thornton Library’s North
Carolina Room Specialist Mark Pace
Food trucks on site, with a wide variety of menu items, will be:
* B&T’s Frosty Green Snowballs;
* Cakes by Chelsea;
* D’s Presto;
* Jay Boyz Hot Dogs;
* Kona Ice;
* Mixx D’s;
* Mama’s Funnel Cakes
* Nana’s Kitchen;
* R&J’s Fish, Wings and Things;
* Soul Bachi; and
* Southern Snow.
Almost 50 nonprofit vendors will be participating with exhibits, displays and community resources available throughout the Park. BoHo the Clown and McGruff the Crime Dog will make special appearances throughout the day as children enjoy bouncy houses, fire trucks on display from across the county, and hands-on activities. The Lord Granville Agricultural Heritage Association will also have vintage farm equipment on display at the Ellok Jones tobacco barn, located near the GAP’s main entrance.
The Granville Athletic Park is located at 4615 Belltown Road in Oxford. For more details about Granville County’s 275th Anniversary, please call the County Administration Office at 919-603-1308 or visit www.granvillecounty.org/275th.