Deck at walking park

A man walks along the paved walking track at T.H. Broyhill Walking Park as Erica and Megan Hamby walk with their dogs, Finn and Bear, toward the railing of the observation deck Thursday morning.

A private donation will pay for the city of Lenoir to renovate some features of T.H. Broyhill Walking Park.

The Broyhill Family Foundation donated $100,000 to replace the wood on the observation deck on the north end of the park and convert the park restrooms into three, single-unit restrooms, similar to the units at J.E. Broyhill Park near downtown Lenoir.

T.H. Broyhill Walking Park at 945 Lakewood Circle SW covers 20 acres and features a paved walking loop, a pond, a nature sanctuary and botanical gardens. Paul Broyhill had the park built in a former rock quarry, and it was completed in 1992.

During the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps used stone from the quarry to build two sets of stairs on the property. After World War II, Tom Broyhill, co-founder of Broyhill Industries, donated land that included the quarry to the city for a municipal swimming pool. After the city opened the Lenoir Aquatic and Fitness Center, the city closed the old pool.

Sheila Triplett-Brady, executive director of the Broyhill Family Foundation, said that Paul Broyhill came up with the idea for the gardens after visiting the Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island in Canada. The Butchart Gardens were built in an old limestone quarry on the island.

“With the help of furniture designer Bill Early and landscape architect Harry Yates, Paul fashioned an oriental-themed park that people from all over could enjoy,” Triplett-Brady said. “Incorporating lighting, waterfalls, flowers, evergreens, and seasonal shrubs, he enhanced the natural beauty of the rock formations [in the quarry].”

The Broyhills built the park, and the city and the Broyhill Family Foundation have partnered to maintain the park. Paul Broyhill named the park after his uncle, Tom Broyhill. The Broyhill Family Foundation provides funds for upkeep and repairs, including mulch and plants. The city provides the staff who manage the gardens and the property.