Freedom Park is a 98-acre park in Charlotte, North Carolina. Located at 1900 East Boulevard, between Charlotte's historic Dilworth and Myers Park neighborhoods, the park is centered on a 7-acre lake, and is about 3 miles (4.8 km) from the heart of Charlotte's downtown area.
The park has paved trails, tennis/volleyball courts, sport/athletic fields and playground equipment. The park contains a steam engine that is fenced and has safety bars added over the tender, but one can walk into the cab. In earlier years the train was open and kids could climb on top of it and under it. During that time period there were two fire engines with an old-fashioned handle crank in front for the engine. Both fire trucks had the insides and rear hose area open for kids to explore, play and learn. There was also a tank that the access hatch was welded it shut but could be climbed and played on.
Free films and musical performances in the park pavilion are featured throughout the summer. Every September Freedom Park is the site of the five-day long Festival in the Park, which annually attracts over 100,000 visitors, and has been recognized as a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society. Adjacent to Freedom Park is the Charlotte Nature Museum, a fun and learning center for young children operated by Discovery Place, which exhibits animals and plants of the Piedmont region.
At the end of World War II the Mecklenburg County Lions Club, raised private money to build a park to honor veterans and named it Freedom Park. The land was then deeded to the City of Charlotte in 1949. A county bond issue resulted in a $900,000 indoor shelter building which was opened in September 2005. This shelter has a commanding view of the lake and includes a large public room, a fireplace, large screen TV, offices, a kitchen, rest rooms, and a concrete patio. It is available for rental for weddings, receptions, small sporting events, and community meetings.
In April, 2012 the North Carolina Department of Transportation announced the completion of the Charlotte portion of the Little Sugar Creek Greenway which now runs through Freedom Park and connects it with uptown Charlotte to the north and with Park Road Shopping Center to the south.
Canada geese problem
A prominent feature of Freedom Park, and a favorite with some visitors, is the large number of Canada Geese that congregate year round on the central lake. Charming to some, the geese are considered a pest by Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation officials because of bird feces in public areas, destruction of turf, and danger to young children. Abatement programs worked for a while, but the geese have always returned.
A similar conflict between wildlife and urban park management exists with the Beavers at Charlotte's Park Road Park.