Groundbreaking Held For Winston-Salem Quarry Park

Groundbreaking Held For Winston-Salem Quarry Park

5:00pm Feb 26, 2016
Rock from the former Vulcan quarry was used to build Interstate 40 and parts of Old Salem. The site will soon become a park for recreational use. photo credit: Keri Brown

An abandoned rock quarry in southeast Winston-Salem could soon become a major tourist attraction. A groundbreaking ceremony took place Friday at the site, which will become a park and a place for historic preservation.

The former Vulcan Materials quarry off of Reynolds Park Road has been closed to the public for years because of hidden dangers: poisonous snakes and eroding rock. 

But over the years, something amazing happened. The site developed its own ecosystem, complete with a crystal clear lake and freshwater jellyfish.

Now city leaders are turning the more than 220-acre quarry into a destination.  

Voters approved a bond referendum in 2014 that earmarked money to turn the location into a park. It will be built in phases, and include a boardwalk, hiking trails, and picnic areas.

Tim Grant is the Recreation and Parks Director for the city. He says kiosks and a small museum are also being discussed.

“There are certain features here that you would only find in a state park,” says Grant. “You see the view of the skyline from downtown. A lot of the early stone from here was actually used to build some of the early structures in Old Salem. There is a lot of history here and we want to be able to tell the history of this site.”

Construction will begin next month. The first phase is slated for completion in early 2017. City leaders estimate it could take 10 to 20 years to fully develop the project.

*Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

Support your
public radio station