Money earmarked for park amenities

Published 9:15 pm Sunday, September 18, 2016

A $145,000 grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust will be used to purchase playground equipment and pay for a shelter at the P.S. Jones Memorial Park.

The Washington City Council was informed of the grant during its Sept. 12 meeting.

The park, which will honor Peter Simon Jones, a Washington educator and for whom the former P.S. Jones High School was named, will be located on the land that once housed that high school, where Jones served from 1927 to 1949. Washington Colored High School’s name was changed in 1950 to honor Jones, former principal of the school.

Currently, the Beaufort County Ed Tech Center is housed in the buildings on the site, which is just south of the Beebe Memorial Park.

A previously awarded $55,000 grant from the trust has been earmarked to pay for a concrete walking trail around the park property. The City of Washington has committed funds to pay for restrooms on the south side of West 11th Street and just across from Beebe Memorial Park. Councilman Doug Mercer is on the record as preferring the restrooms be built on the Beebe Memorial Park site.

The Beebe Memorial Park committee has been notified of the newest grant and will conduct a community meeting in the Ed Tech Center’s cafeteria at 6 p.m. Sept. 29. The committee was instrumental in planning and overseeing improvements made to Beebe Memorial Park in the past 18 years or so.

The P.S. Jones Memorial Park is viewed as a complement to Beebe Memorial Park, which was built in phases. That park includes walkways, an elevated viewing area, a memorial area honoring Bishop J.A. Beebe and local black history, benches and picnic tables, a gazebo-like shelter and a number of trees and shrubs. It also includes a circular memorial that contains headstones from graves from an abandoned cemetery in the northwest corner of the park. Beebe, who was from North Carolina, was elected as a bishop of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church on March 23, 1873.


About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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