On September 25th, New Hanover County Cape Fear Museum Park officially opened to the public. Despite the rain, community leaders, Museum board and staff and residents joined our celebration. Ms. Holland’s second grade class from Gregory Elementary School sang “This Land is Your Land” – a most appropriate song for a park opening! (View photos here.)
In 2006, residents of Wilmington and New Hanover County passed a bond referendum to expand parks and green space throughout the City and County. The Museum was fortunate to receive a portion of the funds to create this urban green space that will be free and accessible to all residents.
I want to thank New Hanover County Commissioners under the leadership of Chairman Barfield and County Manager Coudriet for their support, guidance and encouragement as we took the journey to create this community space. I also want to recognize Mayor Saffo and City Council members for their ongoing support. Former Museum Director Ruth Haas returned to Wilmington for the opening. There would not be a museum park without her leadership. Thank you, Ruth.
We cannot begin to thank everyone for their support and assistance, but I want to extend special recognition to our donors: Cape Fear Garden Club, International Paper, Jack and Carol Mills, PNC Foundation, Residents of Old Wilmington, and Jim and Rhonda Schoolfield. Our Cape Fear Museum Associates Board members not only led the fundraising efforts, but also generously contributed to the project.
Our Cape Fear Museum Advisory Board provided much-needed support and leadership throughout this process working closely with our staff project team of Jan Davidson, Adrienne Garwood, Pepper Hill, Barbara Rowe, John Timmerman and Amy Thornton. Project consultants included OBS Landscape Architects, Sage Design, Riggs Ward, Malone Design Fabrication and Paragon Building Corporation.
And last, but not least, I want to say a very special thank you to two people who provided boots on the ground every day to make sure this project moved forward: Adrienne Garwood, museum park project manager, and Kevin Caison, NHC facilities project manager. The successful opening of the park could not have happened without them.
We hope you enjoy the park as much as we enjoyed creating it for you!