Longtime Pals Plan Park Expansion in Fayetteville

- FAYETTEVILLE--Max Mahler and Ben Putman have made a lot of memories in Gulley Park. Mahler says he's spent his whole life there. "I'm from Fayetteville, I learned to ride a bicycle here when I was a kid, it's a special place." Mahler said. " I spent a large majority of my childhood here, playing in this park." Putman added.
When the 10 acres next to the park went up for sale, Putman and Mahler saw a chance for growth. They started a crowd funding campaign to raise money and awareness for the expansion. They gained a big ally when the city of Fayetteville saw the opportunity as well. Alison Jumper, Park Planning Superintendent for Fayetteville Parks and Recreation, believes the opportunity is one of a kind. "Land availability in the middle of the city is very rare, and you really only get one um shot at preserving green space in a city and so you sort of you know have to take that opportunity when it's presented." Jumper said.
The city of Fayetteville has 970,000 $ to put toward the purchase, but an additional 130,000 needs to be raised. Through grants and their crowd funding campaign, Mahler and Putman are very close to the 1.1 million needed to purchase the land. Although improvements for the current park will be put on hold. Mahler says it will be worth the wait. "We may have given up a little bit now to revamp the park and do some some minor updates umm but long term I think that there's no passing up this opportunity and I'm really excited to be apart of that." Mahler said.

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