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North Waterfront Park Renderings (Photo: Hannah Patrick/WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — One of the first projects to be paid for by the 2016 Parks Bond voters passed could soon be underway on Wilmington’s Riverfront.

The North Waterfront Park has been in the works for more than 10 years. Wilmington is already known for its waterfront, voted America’s best in 2015, but soon it could have even more to offer.

“Something we’ve been talking about for quite sometime,” Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said. “Actually, the downtown park was in the original 2006 bond.”

After more than ten years of talking about it, Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said City Council is finally getting to vote to put the $20 million North Waterfront Park out for bid, because voters passed the 2016 Parks Bond.

“We’ve gone around the country to look at other urban parks that we feel are very successful in other parts of the country that we can use to attract a lot of people down here,” Saffo said.

Kristin Morris has been visiting Wilmington for years, and while she already loves walking our riverfront, parks are something she is used to back home in Indianapolis.

“We have a lot of little ones and downtown has put in a lot of parks and it just brings a lot of people together and it gives them a safe place to play,” Morris said.

Saffo said the design of the park incorporates everything you have asked for.

“When we have festivals or concerts and as more and more people want to have events downtown, this gives us the opportunity do to that,” Saffo said.

He also said it is going to be an active park.

“We put splash pads down in there,”Saffo said. “We put little rooms with, well we call them little rooms where people can have picnics, where people can have yoga.”

It is a concept that has been in the works for years, but could very soon become a reality.

“When you come over that bridge, it’ll be a focal point for our community,” Saffo said.

“That’s exciting,” Morris said.

Saffo said council will vote to send the project out for bid at their regular meeting tomorrow night at 6:30.

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