Community members give input about North Waterfront Park

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — What’s in store for the future of Wilmington’s North Waterfront Park? Community members had the chance to come out Monday night and give their input.

The City of Wilmington held a drop-in style meeting from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. for the public to provide their thoughts about conceptual designs for the new North Waterfront Park.

The city purchased the 6.6 acre tract for the park along the northern waterfront near the Isabel Holmes Bridge in 2013.

Citizens approved $20 million for the development of the park as a part of the 2016 Parks Bond.

According to the City of Wilmington, previous public input about the park indicated residents were interested in green space, a large concert venue and festival space, shade trees, a playground, a water feature, trails, gardens, public art, public docking, and natural areas.

“Being part of the Cape Fear Garden Club, we’re very interested in having gardens right along the park, right along the river,” Cape Fear Garden Club member Cathy Poulos said. “Our club would very much like to participate and maybe help with one of the little garden rooms that they’re planning with the park.”

“I’m just really thrilled that Wilmington is going to develop this park,” Poulos said. “I think it’s been needed for a long time. The more green spaces we have, the better.”

Another group is hoping the new park will feature a boathouse.

“The foundation has a plan to put a boathouse on the very north end of the north side park, provided that we can solve any technical issues that may arise,” Renaissance Wilmington Foundation President and CEO Bill Graham said. “Thus far we’ve done very well with getting the appearance of available space, a grand design, a wonderful design, and the cooperation of the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority and leading engineers in town to come up with a workable plan that combines the soil coming off the back of the park with the rear end of Cape Fear Public Utility Authority’s space, which is really just used for piping and access to the river, and by combining those two – that soil and that back area, we can turn great big 60 foot crew boats and take them out of the boathouse and down to the water, and it’s all very exciting for the city.”

“The park itself, I like the two designs,” Graham said. “I’m very excited about having a great lawn and event space, also some quiet areas that make sense, maybe splash areas for kids. We’ve seen those are very popular elsewhere, and the designs that I see here incorporate those elements in a very thoughtful way.”

The park is tentatively expected to open in Fall 2019.

For more information about the project and how you can submit your input, click here.

Categories: Local, New Hanover