Bandera Farms Park is Fully Funded
Guilford County Dedicates Federal Funding to Construct Bandera Farms Park
Guilford County Commissioners voted to allocate $2.3 million to make Bandera Farms Park a reality. The funding comes from the $104 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding received by the County, and will be directed to Town of Summerfield for the park project.
Located along Bunch Road and bordered by I-73 to the East and Reedy Fork Creek to the West, this 120-acre, wooded park is in a rapidly growing area of Guilford County and will serve a variety of users. The park will host an exceptional network of natural surface trails to be used by both equestrians and hikers, a destination-quality adventure playground, picnic shelters, restrooms and a segment of the Piedmont Greenway, a planned 19-mile shared-use path that will one day connect Greensboro and Winston-Salem. The park land has significant frontage along Reedy Fork, a creek that flows into City of Greensboro water supply and the Haw River watershed.
“This park will have everything a good passive park should: Many ways for all kinds of users to enjoy, exercise, and explore while also preserving the land’s key environmental benefits, like protecting Greensboro’s water quality, saving plant and wildlife habitat, and providing a place for people to get outside,” said Palmer McIntyre, conservation planner for Piedmont Land Conservancy and a leader of the park effort.
Bandera Farms Park represents the first time that 3 municipalities and Guilford County have collaborated jointly on a preservation and recreation project. Plans for the park have been in the works since 2019, led by local land trust, Piedmont Land Conservancy, with representatives from Town of Summerfield, Town of Oak Ridge, City of Greensboro, and Guilford County all coming together with a joint vision.
In December 2020, backed by the multi-jurisdiction partnership, Piedmont Land Conservancy purchased the first tract, a 115-acre property. PLC acquired an additional 4 acre tract earlier this year and transferred both properties to the Town of Summerfield in July. Fundraising efforts have been in full swing: The future park has been awarded a $500,000 N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant, $50,000 from the North Carolina Horse Council, and a $100,000 Recreational Trails Program grant. These funds combined with the $2.3 million allocation from the County means that the construction of the park is fully funded.
Guilford County Commissioner, Justin Conrad, shared, “Bandera Farms Park was a clear priority for both Summerfield and Oak Ridge, with county funding meeting local needs and leveraging already committed dollars. Parks are community investments that return positive quality of life benefits.”
“We are incredibly excited that the County believes in the importance of this project and stepped up to cover the remaining costs of park development. We are so grateful to each of our commissioners who prioritized health and wellness, quality of life, economic development, and environmental protection when they funded this park,” remarked Kevin Redding, Piedmont Land Conservancy’s executive director.
Plans for the park have already been drawn up and a portion of the natural surface trails were rough-cut by an NC Conservation Corps crew in 2021. With funding secured, Town of Summerfield hopes to make the park a reality as soon as possible.
Town Manager Scott Whitaker shared, “Funding for Bandera aligns well with the County’s core values and priorities, especially ‘intentional collaboration.’ Commissioners realized it was a high priority for Northwest and we’re grateful and excited to partner and get this unique park engineered and out for bids.”
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