Parks and Recreation is a major interest for the citizens of Butner. The Town currently owns several different tracts of land totaling 48.9 acres that is designated for public parks. There are four existing town owned parks including a gymnasium built in 1942, a reservoir which is also used for picnicking, boating and fishing, a small open space park, and one ball field. There is a larger athletic park in the planning stages, and many acres of untouched forest owned by the Town and used seasonally for bow hunting. There are over 700 children participating in the South Granville Athletic Association’s baseball and softball leagues alone and a soccer program by SGAA that grows in number every year.
In 2008 the Town conducted a survey to determine the recreational needs and wants for the citizenry. More that 400 surveys were returned giving an excellent return rate of more than 15%. A citizens Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee was also appointed by the Town Council to help guide them in their decision about Parks and Recreation. Those members are listed under the Committees page. If you are interested in joining that committee please contact town staff or a Council member about your interest. With that input, a Comprehensive System wide Master Plan for Parks and Recreation was created and adopted by the Town Council in December of 2008.
The different parks in Butner include:
The SMSA was built in 1942 as part of the Camp Butner recreational facilities. This arena consists of three full basketball courts, two scoreboards, restrooms, and several adjoining storage/meeting rooms. This building has a very unique structural design that sets it apart from other gymnasiums. The complex truss system in the roof is designed to prevent collapse if it were to be hit by a bomb dropped from a plane. It is said that this is one of two original military gymnasium buildings of this design left standing in the United States. The SMSA sits on approximately 2.5 acres, but is adjacent to approximately 30 acres owned by the Town. The Sports Arena has recently been completely renovated on the interior. The gym floor was repaired, sanded and refinished. New backboards, goals and scoreboards have been installed. All the side rooms have been completely renovated as well with new lights and flooring, and the walls have been painted or sanded and finished. There is a concession area with a roll up door. The bleachers have been repainted. The gym has new lighting that lights the entire gym very well, but is much more energy efficient. The bathrooms are completely remodeled. This is a great facility with amenities to accommodate the town's recreation needs, while preserving this amazing piece of history. Please see photos of the re-opening ceremony from October 31, 2009 on our photo gallery here.
Lake Holt was impounded in 1965 to supply water to DHHS and other local governments. The lake is approximately 385 acres in size. An 800 square foot building with a basement was constructed lakeside and is now being used as a tackle shop, snack bar and restrooms. Adjacent to the tackle shop is a two lane boat ramp with parking and 10 enclosed boat slips that can be rented during the fishing season. In addition, there are picnic tables and one picnic shelter. In addition to the lake itself, the town owns approximately 10 acres adjacent to the lake on which these facilities are located. Lake Holt opens each spring around March and closes around the end of November. It is open from dawn until dusk, and there are refreshments for sale. If you wish to call to reserve the picnic shelter or check any fees, you may call Bob Thompson, the current operator of the amenities at Lake Holt at 575-3110.
Effective August 3, 2012, the NC Wildlife Resources Commission has revised the regulations for Black Bass in Lake Holt. Anglers fishing for largemouth bass at Lake Holt can now keep up to 10 fish per day with no minimum size limit. Only 2 bass may be greater than 14 inches. Please see the attached News Article for more information.
The Central Avenue Park is a neighborhood park used for passive recreational which includes a gazebo, park benches, playground equipment for children ages 2-12 and swings, and open grass lawns. The Gazebo was built by Mr. Buchanan, a Butner resident, for use by the community. There is also a Memorial statue to remember the men and women that have served our country in the military, both residents of Butner and those from out of town that have trained at Camp Butner. The park is also available for non-profit fund raisers, private ceremonies such as birthday parties and weddings, and on Saturday mornings for yard sales. Individuals interested in these activities can call Town Hall for more information and availability.
The “D” Street ball field was built in the 1942 to serve as a recreational facility for Camp Butner. The ball field is approximately four acres in size. Since that time the field has been used by many different agencies, schools, and churches. The ball field was constructed to play high school baseball and include dugouts for home and away teams, concessions and restrooms.
During the Town’s incorporation, the Town acquired a 750 acre tract of land that is entirely wooded. This tract of land has been participating in the NC Wildlife Game Lands program for Archery hunting for the past 10+ years. This tract is contiguous to the Butner Falls Lake Game Lands, the largest in North Carolina. This tract of land has been very popular for the archery hunters who do not have to compete with the firearm hunters. They get to hunt in a more natural, undisturbed environment.
This park is expected to begin construction in June of 2011. It is be located on 30 acres on West B Street. The main purpose of the Butner Athletic Park is to provide facilities for all ages to play t-ball, baseball and softball, have a safe place to walk, bicycle and run, and a facility to play soccer or football. The park will have three ball fields close together in a cloverleaf pattern with a centrally located building for concessions, bathrooms, and a meeting room. Two of the ball fields would be high school baseball regulation size with moveable mounds and temporary fencing so they can be used by all ages. The third field would be a regulation girls softball size field that could also be used for little league teams. Adjacent to the ball fields and concessions is a soccer field with enough room to move and rotate the field on a regular basis so that the areas around the goals do not get bare. The walking trail will go around the perimeter of the site with paths between the ball fields and concessions that are handicap accessible. This design would allow local teams to host tournaments as well as accommodate families with children of different ages. An estimated completion date should be announced after the contract is awarded.
Butner Cedar Glade is a Plant Conservation Preserve located on the southeast side of B Street. In 2012 ownership and stewardship of the site was transferred to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA & CS) Plant Conservation Program. This six acre property is unique due to the rocks that underlay the site and the many rare plants that grow there. For more information about this property you can view the Plant Conservation Program flyer here. You can also visit the NCDA & CS Plant Conservation Program website at http://www.ncagr.gov/plantindustry/plant/plantconserve/preserves.htm for more information about this program or to request a field trip to the site. (flyer)