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Danelle Cutting column: Don’t use harmful products during celebrations

By Danelle Cutting
Hurley Park

Hurley Park has always been one of the best places to celebrate life-changing events. We have many weddings, vow renewals, birthdays, graduations, engagements, and the list goes on and on. Hurley Park is a very unique park. We do not have shelters and playgrounds but we have immense beauty in our plants, wooden and rock structures, as well as our beautiful pond. Because Hurley Park is so special, we work very hard to keep it beautiful and pristine, so it can sometimes disappoint us and park visitors when we witness acts of destruction or littering at the park. To help educate everyone, I wanted to give some information on how to better celebrate and teach visitors how to care for our park properly.

One of the most detrimental acts we have at the park is when we have balloons, confetti, and plastic flowers/leaves left behind. These items never decompose and can pollute and cause death to the wildlife that ingest them. They also end up in our water system and this can wreak havoc when this material begins to build up. Below are some ways to celebrate without using these harmful products:

  • Use real leaves instead of confetti, there are plenty of leaves now in the park that can be thrown instead of plastic. You can even use a hole puncher to make unique leaf confetti that is just as beautiful and unique for the perfect photos.
  • Dried flowers can be a great replacement for the balloons, confetti and fake flowers. They are just as beautiful and do not harm the environment.
  • Soap bubbles are perfect for any celebration and are very economical. No worries about getting bubbles stuck in the trees either.

Magnolia leaves used for decoration instead of plastic items at Hurley Park

We also get asked if visitors can use bird seed or grass seed for weddings. The answer is no, we do not allow those to be used in the park. The problem with grass or bird seed is that they often carry weed seeds and we do not want any additional plantings in the gardens other than what we choose. With only two park employees, we try to minimize any unnecessary weeding.

Lastly, we have many park visitors who are passionate about our park and want to protect it as much as we do. We always appreciate all of their help, volunteering, and notifying us about any problems at Hurley Park. We just caution those whom are our park protectors of confronting violators. It is often best to contact the local authorities to handle the situation of litterers and those committing vandalism.

We hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and hope you will come visit Hurley Park soon. If you have any questions about the park or what is going on, please give us a call at 704-638-4459, or contact us on Facebook or Instagram @HurleyParkNC. If you would like to donate to Hurley Park, visit our website at salisburync.gov/hurleypark.

Danelle Cutting is manager of Hurley Park.

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