On the first Thursday in January, the Parks, Arts, Recreation, and Culture (PARC) Commission of Cornelius met upstairs at Town Hall. Chair of the Commission Scott Higgins led the meeting that included the PARC Director Troy Fitzsimmons, Administrative Assistant Karen Oliver, Town Board Liaison to the PARC Commission Denis Bilodeau, and eight members: Robert McCloskey, Trey Fouche, Mary Wilson, Carol Livingston, Chris Kolkhorst, Andrew Heywood, David Rusk, and Travis Dancy.


The meeting was open to the public, but there was only one other person there besides me. Sean Herndon, a local Realtor, has put in an application to be on the commission and attends the meetings to keep informed. When asked why he wanted to be on the commission, he said, “To participate more in the town. I receive a lot of feedback from people moving into and out of town.”


Not many people in town know that the PARC Commission oversees much more than park areas. It is also responsible for creating and maintaining other amenities for our town, including events, public art, sports leagues, and more.


“The Best Kept Secret in Cornelius.”—Scott Higgins, Chair, PARC Commission



Commission reviews upcoming meetings, which will cover Lake Cornelius recreation access, joint towns/county park commissions, and Robbins Park master plan.


The highlights

  • The meeting lasted almost two hours. It started with giving an award to exiting member Mary Wilson for her participation on the commission from Feb. 2013 to Jan. 2019. Each member is limited to two full terms, and the dates are listed on the PARC page of the Town of Cornelius website.
  • PARC Director Troy Fitzsimmons gave his December report that included the successful participation of 250 people in the Cocoa with Santa event and the Un-cover/Re-cover art exhibition by Paul Farmer at the Cornelius Arts Center Gallery, which runs through Jan. 11.
  • Due to the tremendous amount of rain in December and January, the Antiquity Greenway is at only at 10% completion, and the May opening has been delayed until mid-July.
  • There is an important public information meeting describing the plan for Recreational Access to Lake Cornelius. It is a joint meeting with Duke Power and the Town of Cornelius on Jan. 23, 6:30-8:30pm, in the Cornelius Town Hall Community Room. Drop in during that time to view the presentation boards and give your feedback.


Residents of Cornelius are always welcome to attend PARC meetings. If you go, come a few minutes early to sign-in. Attendees are allowed three minutes each to speak to the commissioners.


The PARC Commission meets at 5:30pm the first Thursday of the month upstairs at Cornelius Town Hall. The minutes of these meetings are available on the Cornelius Town website following approval. For more information on the PARC Commission and to find an application for appointment to the commission, visit the Cornelius, North Carolina, website.