Welcome the Town of Clayton, North Carolina

Community Center: 
919-553-1550

Community Center Hours
Monday-Friday: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Physical Address:
715 Amelia Church Road
Clayton, NC 27520

Every child deserves a chance to play! And that's why the Town of Clayton is proud to be partnering with the community to build a playground where children and their guardians of ALL abilities can play together - Harmony Playground.

Don't miss the official groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday, October 12 at 10am, with special sponsors: the Woman's Club of Clayton and Clayton Civitan! Muddy the Mudcat will be joining us at East Clayton Community Park too! 

There are 300,000 people living within 20 miles of this future playground and estimates show that means there are about 4,000 children with disabilities...4,000 children who can't play at most typical playgrounds....4,000 children who will soon have that chance to play.  

We're moving closer and closer to making this unique, destination playground a reality. Children could be laughing, smiling and making friendships on this playground by the fall of 2020!

The plans and designs for Harmony Playground have been updated and bids are out now for construction. As of September 2019, the Clayton Community Recreational Foundation has raised more than $700,000. 


Check out the latest update presented to Town Council by Clayton Community Recreational Foundation leader, Dean Penny, who's family personally donated $75,000 to the project. 

Pushing this effort closer to the finish line are some incredible donations and grants!
Earlier this year, the Johnston County Commissioners pledged $100,000 to the playground in their 2019-2020 budget. 
The Town of Clayton received a very competitive Connect NC Parks & Recreation Trust Fund grant for $89,810. 
Clayton won a GameTime grant, bringing in $55-60,000 in savings from this playground equipment manufacturing. 
The North Carolina State University Park Scholars Class of 2019 not only designed and built numerous musical pieces for the playground, but they raised an additional $7,000 on top of that for the park. Studies show audible and tactile elements that kids can interact with, especially visually-impaired.
Local industry giants like Caterpillar, the naming sponsor, as well as Novo Nordisk and Northeast Foods, pledged support very early on and remain committed to seeing this project through. 
The Town of Clayton is providing the land for the playground and will be responsible for maintaining it, including adding expanded parking and updated restrooms through the town budget and an upcoming parks bond being brought to voters on Nov. 5th

The weekend after the ground-breaking, the Clayton Community Recreational Foundation is sponsoring a golf tournament and hosting an inspirational gala. Clayton native and Major League Baseball pitcher Chris Archer will be honored at the gala and the keynote speaker is Lauren Potter from the hit show Glee. If you can't make those events, the public can also buy a brick so their name will be a permanent part of the playground, buy a T-shirt to show their support, or simply donate

Finding ways to include children of ALL abilities and teaching typically able-bodied children how to interact with these exceptional children is SO important in building a better community. Thank you to all of the moms, families, community volunteers and businesses and others who have supported this dream – let’s join them to make it a reality!  Head to HarmonyPlayground.org and “like” Harmony Playground Presented by Caterpillar at ECCP to find out more! 

The Town of Clayton initiated a public-private partnership with Clayton Community Recreational Foundation, Inc. in 2014.  That non-profit, 501(c)3 organization has been helping the community support family events, parks and other Clayton recreation activities for more than 2 decades. The Mayor & Council dedicated land at the Town's newest and largest park on Glen Laurel Road, East Clayton Community Park. They also hired CLH Design of Cary to draft the concept and cost analysis for this one-of-a-kind, destination playground. 

Jan Craig, the mother of a 6-year-old little girl with special needs, share that she actually got a concussion trying to help her daughter on a playset at a traditional playground. She avoids them now. 

“My daughter barely walked until she was three, so I would be on a playground having to help her  just get to the playground, helping her get up the stairs to a slide that often times would end up being too steep for her even to go down,” said Craig. “None of the children would interact with her, she’s special needs, her mom is helping her with every step. And for me, there’s no interaction with other moms either because I’m very busy helping her.”

For Craig, Harmony Playground would mean there will finally be a place in Clayton that's useable and exciting for all children, no matter what their limitations.

Children of all abilities need to be able to have playtime to enhance their growth and development," said Craig. "This is not always an easy thing to accomplish for children with various disabilities. Soon our children will be gathering in Clayton to play safely in this space designed with everyone's needs in mind."  

Bridgett Bailey, of the MOMS Club of Clayton, says she looks forward to educating the community and children about the importance of inclusion play.

My son interacting with special needs children has helped him understand how to interact with them, and ultimately, I hope, it will lead to him having more compassion for special needs children, as he gets older," said Bailey. "I think this is something all kids should experience."

We hope you’ll want to learn more about how you can help create this joyful place for children to play

Go to the Clayton Community Recreational Foundation's Playground Facebook page to learn more, Universal Playground at East Clayton Community Park

For further information on this incredible project by the Clayton Community Recreational Foundation, Inc. please email info@harmonyplayground.org.

Join the Generous Supporters

Already, businesses and private donors have given major support. 

  • Caterpillar Building Construction Products division donated site preparation for the playground and has become the naming sponsor.
  • Novo Nordisk - Novo Nordisk has been the proud sponsor of golf tournaments and the first annual Harmony Playground Gala. Novo Nordisk is investing $2 billion in a new production facility in Clayton. which will result in the creation of 691 new, high-paying jobs over the next five years and will nearly double the size of the company’s workforce in Johnston County.  
  • Automatic Rolls of North Carolina, a major employer in Clayton, pledged $50,000. “We view Celebration Playground as a significant new amenity for all the citizens of Clayton and Johnston County, as well as the families of our employees,” said Richard Tommy, plant manager of Automatic Rolls. “It’s another reason for us all to feel great about living and working in Clayton.”
  • $10,000 donated through Clayton resident Margaret Lawson Frook in honor of a family member with special needs  
  • The Archway Foundation, founded by Chris Archer, donated $4,000. The Clayton High School graduate pitches for the Tampa Bay Rays in Major League Baseball's American League.  
  • Walmart and Sam's Club, including Walmart of Clayton and 10 regional locations awarded community grants to the playground 
  • Sheetz, Inc. gave $1,000

 

Sensory-Active-Passive Play

The playground would incorporate physical activities to build strength, social interaction and communication to make friends, cognitive elements to help develop personalities and sensory elements to delight children through sight, sound and touch. The playground would be fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and will incorporate special ramps which would make it easy for adults and children who have difficulty moving around on ground covered with uneven grass, sand, straw or mulch.

“On behalf of all of our kids…THANK YOU,” said Candice Collier- Lang, a parent of two daughters, one with special needs, who was a member of the initial community focus group that helped kick-start the playground effort.  “Thank you to Mayor Pro Tem Michael Grannis, Councilman Butch Lawter and the town council members for supporting the inclusive park and supporting the needs of our kids!”

The playground would be located at East Clayton Community Park, a 60-acre park, on Glen Laurel Road. The park already features many firsts for Clayton, including a regulation-size baseball field, regulation-size soccer field and the Town’s first multi-purpose playing field.  The Universal Playground would sit under a canopy of trees adjacent to convenient parking, an attractive stone pavilion with restrooms, and a beautiful 1-mile walking trail.

"It’s not just that a playground is what most children view as a necessity to make East Clayton Community Park a “real park”, it’s that we are approaching this project with the unique opportunity for everyone to participate," said Parks & Recreation Director Larry Bailey.  "This project will have a major impact on our community by conveying a message that our town cares about all of our citizens."

 

 

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