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Whatever happened to New Hanover County’s plan to turn the sand mine into a park?

Chris Mazzolini

It’s a make or break summer in 2009 for New Hanover County’s plans to turn a sand mine into a park. The project, called Smith Creek Park, is located off of Gordon Road near Interstate 40. It’s home to a 45-acre lake, which was expanded by sand mining. That benefited the county because they were able to double the size of the lake and raise roughly $700,000 from sand sales.

Right now, state wildlife folks are working to get the lake’s water balanced enough to drop some fish and other critters inside. The process of moving in a bunch of scaled residents is expected to take about two years.

In the meantime, the county’s Parks Department has applied for a $500,000 grant from the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund. The fund’s overseers will decide in July who gets grant funding. If the county wins the award (it’s no sure thing since the grants are competitive), it plans to build a boat launch, trails, a picnic shelter and restrooms to make the area a full-functioning park space. If not, well then it won’t happen, at least for the time being. The economy stinks, remember?

User-contributed question by:
Richard Perry

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