ELIZABETHTOWN — Last month, a ribbon-cutting was held at Lloyd Park in Elizabethtown, located on Swanzy Street. The newest addition to the town’s park system is named after long-time Elizabethtown Town Council member and Mayor Pro-Tempore Rufus Lloyd.
Lloyd has served on the Elizabethtown Town Council since 1991 and as an Elizabethtown Planning Board member for 35 years. The retired Bladen County educator has served 10 years as mayor pro-tem, a position he continues today.
According to Lloyd, however, his contributions to Elizabethtown haven’t been achieved in isolation.
“I have to give credit to the mayor, town council, and town manager, because I realize when you receive that kind of recognition, it’s not all due to what you have done necessarily, but with the support you get from others,” Lloyd commented. “I just want to thank them for giving me that opportunity to have a park named in my honor.”
Elizabethtown Mayor Sylvia Campbell spoke about why the park was named after the Elizabethtown resident.
“This is a real testament to Mr. Lloyd and how much we love him,” she said. “We are excited and honored to be able to name this new park after one of our town members and board members, and to honor what a great friend to the town Rufus Lloyd is.”
Prior to the ribbon-cutting, the site had been called the “Leinwand Park annex” because of its proximity to Leinwand Park, located across Swanzy Street. When selecting an official name, however, council members were unanimous in their decision.
“We just couldn’t think of anyone we’d rather name this after than you, Mr. Lloyd, because you’ve given so much to the town of Elizabethtown through the years,” Campbell said at a Town Council meeting when the christening was decided.
The park is home to Elizabethtown’s first dog park and exercise area, a playground, and a picnic shelter, and the walking tracks that surround the site are an extension of the exercise paths around Leinwand Park.
Ricky Leinwand, son of former Elizabethtown Mayor Wallace Leinwand, after whom Leinwand Park is named, believes his father would approve of a park bearing the name of Lloyd.
“When he was mayor, my father always said Mr. Lloyd was the glue that held this town together,” he said. “I think he would be proud to have this park right beside his.”
The park was made possible by a $250,000 grant from the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund. The grant funded improvements to Leinwand Park and the addition of Lloyd Park.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.