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When will they add baby/toddler swings to Wade Park? Also the vegetation has taken over and needs to be trimmed.

Amanda Lisk

A Wilmington parks bond referendum will be on the Nov. 8 election ballot. One of the projects in the referendum calls for improvements to Wade Park. If the bond passes, the Wade Park playground will be expanded and toddler swings will be added as well as new interpretive signs. The referendum also calls for the old water treatment building to be torn down, making room for more open space, said Wilmington’s director of community services, Amy Beatty. If the bond does not pass, there are no plans or funds budgeted for Wade Park. When the park is up for replacement, swings could be added at that time with maintenance funds.

In regards to vegetation along the loop of Wade Park, Beatty says stormwater crews cut back vegetation in the pond twice a year to create sight lines and this fall they will be cutting back the vegetation on the outside of the trail.

“Vegetative maintenance at Wade Park is challenging for couple of reasons. Crews cannot get into the pond to perform maintenance in the summer due to safety hazards. Crews also have to be careful to ensure the plants are large enough to do their job which is to help prevent stormwater runoff so the amount of pollutants that enter into our creeks is limited,” said Beatty.

The 17-acre Wade Park at 3500 Bethel Road opened in 2009 . The park is the largest constructed stormwater wetland in the area, according to Wilmington city officials who say the park helps filter pollutants from stormwater before they reach Hewletts Creek.

Wade Park is named after former Wilmington mayor and city councilman James E. L. Wade, also known as “Hi Buddy” for the way he greeted people. Wade was first elected to the city council in May 1919. He served a total of 38 years in the city council as a councilman and then as mayor in the late 1950s. Wade was known for supporting beautification projects including pushing for tree plantings along major Wilmington city streets.

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