Ogden Skatepark
Hugh MacRae Park Playground & Splashpad

Parks & Gardens Newsletter- April 2017
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The Health of Our Community:  Current Health Profile & Future Priorities- March 27, 2017
A recent public forum that included local government, schools and university, the health care system, transportation planners, and others served as the kick-off for a county-wide collective impact initiative that will bring together community partners who share common goals.

New Hanover County’s Parks & Gardens 10-Year Master Plan Update was presented to the Board of County Commissioners and adopted on January 23, 2017.  This plan will serve as a guiding document for the provision of public parks and recreation services to residents of New Hanover County over the next ten years.  Click on the links below to read the Executive Summary and/or the entire Master Plan document.

Executive Summary

NHC Parks & Gardens Master Plan

Skateparkpic1Grindline Skatepark staff will be here to officially begin construction at the skatepark Tuesday morning, May 31st.  We have already done some site preparation in advance of their arrival, but we are excited for them to be on site and officially start the construction! They will be developing the entire park (phase 1 & 2) at the same time and we anticipate the project will take six months to complete.

Check back here for updates or follow us on facebook.

Star News:
Upgrades turn Castle Hayne Park into new Northern Regional Park, Published: Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at 4:57 p.m.

UPDATE (3/24/16):  The ribbon cutting will be held on Saturday, May 21st at 10am.

UPDATE (2/4/16):  We are getting close to the finish line!  The actual completion of Phase One of the Northern Regional Park project is just a month away in March.  We will hold an official ribbon cutting ceremony in the Spring.  Check back here for details.

* Disc golf course holes #3, 4, 5 & 6 are currently closed due to construction of the new park entrance.

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UPDATE (7/20/15):  We are making progress on Phase One of the Northern  Regional Park at Castle Hayne expansion project.  The two existing multi-purpose fields now have lights and construction of the new entrance on Castle Hayne Road and two new multi-purpose fields is well under way.  Check out more pictures on the County’s flickr site.

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UPDATE (5/27/15):  Disc golf course holes #3, 4, 5 & 6 will be closed until further notice due to construction of the new park entrance from Castle Hayne Road.

Castle Hayne Expansion

Expansion to the existing Castle Hayne Park, located at 4700 Old Avenue, will begin in February 2015.  The project will be completed in two phases, with phase one completion expected in Fall 2015.  Phase one will include a new, more visible entry road along Castle Hayne Road (just before the Hermitage House), making the park more easily accessible to visitors.  In addition to lighting the two existing athletic fields, two new lighted multi-purpose fields will be constructed.  Beginner bike trails will also be added as a new park feature.

The County intends to keep the park open to visitors during the expansion project though some areas may need to temporarily be closed for safety purposes.  You can follow us on Facebook for updates and closures.  There will be some impact to the disc golf course due to the new entry road, but the two impacted holes will be replaced.

Phase two of the project will include the addition of several more lighted multi-purpose athletic fields, a 1.5 mile paved multi-purpose (walking/biking) trail, a basketball court, tennis court improvements and a new dog park.  Upon completion, this 112 acre park will be well suited to serve as the Northern Regional Park.


Hugh MacRae Park
Inclusive Playground:  Demolition of the current 5-12 year old playground will start the week of May 9th to make way for the new inclusive playground.  Expected completion of the playground project, including adult fitness stations and splashpad, is late Summer 2016.  The current playground elements will be recycled and used to update Northern Regional Park.

Basketball Court:  The new outdoor basketball court is complete!

Northern Regional Park
Construction is almost complete at Northern Regional Park in Castle Hayne!  Join us on Saturday, May 21st at 10am for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new multi-purpose fields.

Odgen Park
Skatepark:  Grindline Skateparks will start construction on the New Ogden Skatepark the last week in May.  The construction of both phases of the project is expected to take 4-6 months for completion.  The 10,000 square foot skatepark will include elements for a variety of ages.

Walking Trail:  Ogden Park is also getting a new 10 foot wide asphalt walking trail!  Construction on the one mile trail starts in early summer and will take about a month to complete.  The trail will connect to the existing trail by the pond and extend around the athletic fields by Eaton Elementary School.

Like us on facebook for updates on these projects and more!

Grindline Skateparks will start construction on the New Ogden Skatepark the last week in May.  The construction of both phases of the project is expected to take 4-6 months for completion.  The 10,000 square foot skatepark will include elements for a variety of ages.

Ogden Park is also getting a new 10′ wide asphalt walking trail.  Construction on the one mile trail starts in early summer and will take about one month to complete.  The trail will connect to the existing trail and extend around the athletic fields by Eaton Elementary School.

Star News:
Coming soon – Ogden Park walking trail, skatepark
, Published: Monday, April 25, 2016 at 11:45 a.m.

Hugh MacRae-BoardTo provide inclusive play opportunities for people with all abilities and of all ages, we are building a new playground. This is thanks to a $750,000 grant from Trillium Health Resources, the agency that provides services to people with disabilities throughout southeastern North Carolina.

This inclusive playground will be built in place of the current playground, which will be recycled and its newer parts reused to enhance the playground at Northern Regional Park. This park, at 4700 Old Avenue, primarily serves the Castle Hayne and Wrightsboro communities.

The new Hugh MacRae playground will include elements for smaller children, ages 2 to 5, and a separate area for those 5 to 12 years old. Nearby will be fitness stations for adult exercise. In recognition of some challenges for outdoor recreation during the hottest summer months, we are installing a splash pad for water play on the site of the existing toddler playground. This will use a recirculating water filtration system to ensure safety, eliminate waste and minimize operating costs.

Demolition of the current playground will begin the week of May 9th and the new playground and splashpad will open in late Summer 2016.

Farmers MarketRiverfront Farmers’ Market Inc will open a second location this year at Ogden Park!  The market will run every Wednesday from 8am-1pm beginning April 13th through November 16th.  This additional location will provide increased accessibility to fresh fruits and vegetables, locally-grown plants and flowers, baked goods and confections, natural bath & body products, handmade artisan works, NC wines and MORE!  The market will be located near the baseball fields at Ogden Park.

Picture13New Hanover County Parks & Gardens is building a new ‪#‎basketball‬ court at Hugh MacRae Park. Construction starts the week of March 14 and will only last a week. The new court will be in front of the baseball field and no trees are being removed. Kids of all ages will be able to play on the court’s adjustable goal!

New Hanover County Parks & Gardens has partnered with Grindline Skateparks to design a 10,000-12,000 square foot concrete skatepark at Ogden Park.  We hope to begin construction in Winter/Spring 2016.

Support the Ogden Skatepark Project

Connect with us via social media for more information and updates.
Skatepark Site
Skatepark 2


Trillium Grant Check PictureTrillium Health Resources has awarded New Hanover County Parks and Gardens with a Play Together Grant.  The $750,000 grant will go towards constructing an inclusive playground at Hugh MacRae Park. Modifications will be made to the current facility and new accessible play areas will be added.  A check presentation ceremony was held on November 3rd,

New Hanover County Parks & Gardens will be hosting a Public Meeting regarding its Master Plan Update on Wednesday, March 16th from 6-8pm in the Oleander Room at the Executive Development Center.  The EDC is located at 1241 Military Cutoff Road, adjacent to the Northeast Library.  The public is welcome and encouraged to attend this meeting.

For more information regarding the Master Plan Update, contact

The survey is now closed.  Thank you for your participation!

New Hanover County and the City of Wilmington have commissioned a Parks and Gardens Master Plan Survey as part of an effort to update the existing plan.  Community input is an important part of this process and helps the county to best tailor the plan to reflect the community’s desires and needs.

A random sampling of residents have been invited to take a survey, and these responses will provide statistically valid results.  If you received one of these surveys in the mail earlier this month, it isn’t too late to respond.  In addition, the County invites all residents to provide feedback and input through an open-link survey available at

The results of this survey will provide critical information in determining community values, satisfaction levels, needs and priorities, and demographics for the County’s long-term planning efforts.  Questions will be asked about what types of programs, facilities, and services residents want in their parks system and where priorities should be placed.

This project is led by GreenPlay, LLC with survey and data work done by RRC Associates.  A total of 3,750 households in New Hanover County were mailed a survey, and responses from these residents will comprise the statistically-valid sample.  The open-link survey will give all residents an opportunity to provide feedback, and their responses will be included in the final report.  While open-link results will be kept separate from the statistically valid responses, these responses will none-the-less provide valuable feedback when updating the New Hanover County Parks and Gardens Master Plan.

Please share this link with anyone who resides in New Hanover County. It’s vital that we gather as much information form the public as possible to best meet the needs of the community.  If you have any questions, please let me know.  Thanks in advance for taking the tie to complete the survey.

TreeFest 2016 Offers Tree Seedlings and Native Grasses

(New Hanover County) – TreeFest, an annual distribution of tree seedlings, will be held Friday, Jan. 22 and Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or until trees run out, in the JC Penney end court inside Independence Mall.

Increase tree canopy and biodiversity in your yard by visiting TreeFest.  Choose any combination of trees or grasses from our extensive list, many of which are native to our area. Limit of 5 trees and/or grasses per household.

Tree species include Atlantic white cedar, bald cypress, black gum, black walnut, chikasaw plum, crabapple, crape myrtle, eastern red cedar, longleaf pine, overcup oak, persimmon, river birch and white oak.  Grass species include Indian grass, little bluestem and muhly grass. Please note:  species availability is subject to change without notice and are available first come, first serve.

A suggested donation of $3 per household will help ensure that TreeFest will return next year. TreeFest is funded by the donations received from participants during the event.

Your seedlings will be wrapped in wet newspaper and a compostable bag that may be reused or planted with your tree, then placed in a plastic bag for transporting. Please consider bringing a plastic grocery bag to reduce the number of new plastic bags in our community.

Because the trees and grasses will live a very long life, a little planning at home before you come to TreeFest can save you lots of time down the road.  Consider the size of your site, whether utility lines exist above and below ground, proximity to buildings and site conditions such as soil type, drainage or sun exposure.  There will be experts on hand to help you decide which tree or grass will work best for your site, as well as how to take care of them.

The trees and grasses are grown in Goldsboro at the NC Forest Service Nursery.  They should be kept moist and planted as soon as possible; ideally the same weekend as TreeFest.  Winter is a great time to plant trees and grasses in our area.

TreeFest began in 1997, after hurricanes Bertha and Fran destroyed many trees in the area.  The TreeFest Committee organizes the event; members and sponsors include Duke Energy Progress, North Carolina Forest Service, Keep New Hanover County Beautiful, UNCW, New Hanover County Department of Parks and Gardens, New Hanover Soil and Water Conservation District, Tidal Creek Co-operative Market, City of Wilmington, Wild Bird and Garden, What’s on Wilmington and Independence Mall.

For more information, contact TreeFest Committee member Jennifer O’Keefe at 798-7564 or

Skate Park Kicks Off Fundraising Effort on Giving Tuesday!


NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – The Parks Conservancy of New Hanover County is kicking off its major fundraising efforts for the new skatepark that is being added to Ogden Park. This campaign will enable skater, bikers, and local supporters to help make the skatepark a reality! Support from donors is vital to the success of this project.

The Parks Conservancy will be offering a variety of ways to contribute- from crowdfunding on their IndieGoGo site, to special events and sponsorships. Individuals and businesses can sponsor the skatepark by contacting Janine Powell at 910-798-7703 or

Why a Skate Park?
Skateboarding has been a part of New Hanover County’s culture since its origins in the 1950’s. Nationwide, there are more than 12 million active skateboarders and here in our County, the numbers of skateboarders exceeds the number of safe, legal places for them to skate. A new skatepark will immediately fill a need for hundreds of avid skaters, especially skaters from the northern parts of the County including Wrightsville Beach. The closest skate park to this location is over 9 miles away in downtown Wilmington. The other skatepark in the area is located even further away in Carolina Beach.


The Parks Conservancy of New Hanover County was established to support New Hanover County Parks. The Conservancy’s only mission is to support the Parks and Gardens Department of New Hanover County.

New Hanover County – the model of good governance.

Release Contact:

Janine Powell
New Hanover County Parks & Gardens
(910) 798-7703

230 Government Center Drive, Suite 120 • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-7620 • Fax 910-798-7621