The Quarry to be named in honor of former director of Recreation and Parks department

The Quarry will be named after former director of the Recreation and Parks department, Tim Grant.

The Quarry to be named in honor of former director of Recreation and Parks department
August 25
14:20 2021

Since being opened to the public a little over four years ago, Quarry Park has continued to grow in popularity with people throughout the city and beyond. To honor one of the individuals who was instrumental in having the park constructed, Quarry Park will now be changed to The Quarry at Grant Park.

The Quarry will be named after former director of the Recreation and Parks department, Tim Grant. Grant lobbied for several years to make the quarry into a park that everyone could enjoy. Grant was the director of the Recreation and Parks Department from 2003-2016.

“I was blown away,” Grant said about having the park named in his honor. “I never worked in municipal government to get any awards, I always tried to do my best to make life better for the citizens. Any type of recognition that I get has to be shared with my staff and everybody that worked in the Recreation and Parks department.  It was a team effort.

“I still really don’t really believe it. It almost feels like a dream and it’s quite an honor. I have received a ton of text messages, emails and phone calls from people, some people I don’t even know. I don’t even know how they got my phone number, but they have been so very kind with their remarks. It was never about me; it was about our Recreation and Parks team and everything we were able to accomplish was a team effort.”

The idea for the park being named after Grant came from Jim Conrad, who approached councilmember James Taylor about it. Taylor felt it was a good idea and introduced it to the other members of the council.

“Jim Conrad has been working in the community for a long time and everybody knows him in the Northeast Ward, so he actually was the chair of parks and rec; so the whole time he was the chair of parks and rec, he had a front seat watching Tim Grant work,” said Taylor. “He came to me with the idea and I sort of introduced it to the council.  

“They saw the value of having Tim Grant’s name on the quarry and he was very instrumental in making the quarry happen and I think he represents himself, his family, and the city to the best of his ability.”

According to Taylor, every other former Recreation and Parks department director has something named after them and Taylor felt it was time for Grant to have his name attached to something and being that he was very involved with having the quarry turned into a park, there was no better place.

“Mr. Grant is in good company, because the palladium at Quarry Park is named after Larry Womble and I think between Larry Womble and Tim Grant, you have two great men in that community,” said Taylor. “There are people from all over the city that come to the park and to have two men of color named for a park in the most diverse area of the city makes a difference.” 

The quarry has been a hidden gem in the city since it closed in the late 1970s. It was brought to the attention of Grant in 2005 and once he visited the location, he immediately felt that it would make a nice visitor location for the citizens of the city.

“We went to look at it one day and when we finally made it to the point where we could see the quarry, I said ‘wow,’” Grant said about his first time seeing the quarry. “I just thought that we have this sitting here and we are only five minutes from downtown Winston-Salem.

“The first time I saw it, I got goosebumps. And the day we went there, the water was as blue as I’ve ever seen blue water.”

Grant then started speaking with people in government, as well as influential people in the city, to try and get the ball rolling on making the quarry a park, because he felt it was a great location and it was also very unique.

“Just over the years, I kept talking to people and talking to people and more and more people started to see that vision,” he said. “People just started believing what it could be.”

Grant stated that former Councilmember Molly Leight’s family donated land to assist in completion of the park. He says there were several other individuals who also helped Grant along the way.

Former senior center supervisor Ben Piggott says that when he visited the quarry with other staff members, some of them laughed at the thought of making the quarry into a park. Piggott says Grant was very adamant about what the park could be and continued to push for it to happen.

“I am shocked about his vision on that park, because I never believed that it would transpire,” said Piggott. “Some were cracking jokes when Tim was taking us back there, but when we got back there, all of our mouths dropped wide open. When we saw that blue water, it was amazing.”

Grant says over the years, more people became interested in the park because he would personally take people up there to see the potential the quarry had. “It’s easy for me to tell you what it looks like, but if I take you there for the first time and you get to see it, I don’t have to say anything else to you,” Grant said.

When Grant was able to see the finished park for the first time, he said he cried tears of joy. He felt the park was so beautiful and now the citizens will be able to experience it as well. He says he is thankful to have such a team effort with so many agencies involved with making the quarry happen.

Grant says he doesn’t look at the quarry as his vision, because there were so many other people and departments involved with the work. He says all he did was make a suggestion. “We got so much cooperation from various departments and I think as a city, it’s something for all of us to be proud of,” Grant said.

The quarry has turned out to be one of the more diverse places in the city of Winston-Salem. People of all ages, races and backgrounds routinely come out to enjoy the quarry and that is something that Taylor and Grant are very proud of. 

About Author

Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors