Public Divided over Renovations plans for Howards Knob Park

Community members are at odds regarding proposed renovations and updates to Howard's Knob Park.

At the October 4th Watauga County Commisioners meeting Parks and Recreation Director Eric Smallwood requested approval regarding his new plans for the park. Smallwood said “that this plan will show improvements to existing facilities that are in the park right now making them accessible to everyone.” And that This grant is for individuals with physical disabilities, mental disabilities, and for our veterans.”

Other renovations include expansion and replacement of fencing, as well as updating the parks restrooms. However, several people spoke up during the meeting expressing concerns for this project. One of which brought up concerns for the environmental impacts of this expansion and whether or not it will affect the parks natural beauty. Others raised concern about the additional foot traffic the renovations will attract. They stated that part of the parks charm is it's exclusivity and difficult accessibility, giving regular visitors a quiet private experience.

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