State parks maintenance and master plans funded

BROWN SUMMIT – The N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund Authority allocated $2,025,000 for state park system maintenance and master plans for two recently acquired properties during its meeting Thursday at Haw River State Park.

The authority earmarked $1,725,000 for major maintenance, trail and exhibit maintenance and demolitions and $100,000 for appraisals and boundary surveys as part of the system’s land acquisition program.

Authority members approved funds to complete master plans for new properties at Hanging Rock and Hammocks Beach state parks. A state park’s master plan is essentially a blueprint for long-term development of facilities and recreation opportunities and a guide for protection of natural resources.

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Carol Tingley, deputy director of the state parks system, gives updates to the trust fund authority.

The 2014 General Assembly added the 716-acre former Camp Sertoma 4-H Education Center, also known as the Vade Mecum Springs property with Moore Springs Campground, to Hanging Rock State Park in Stokes County. The North Carolina state parks system is also adding a premier property of 289 acres on the mainland at Hammocks Beach State Park in Onslow County. The waterfront tract on Queen’s Creek once was the site of popular summer camps, and has long been identified as a critical need for the state park for traditional park facilities and to enhance protection of water quality, sub-aquatic vegetation and scenic assets on the creek.

At the start of the meeting, new PARTF authority member Vinnie Goel was sworn in along with returning members Ann Babcock and Lisa Wolff.

In other business, Division of Parks and Recreation Deputy Director Carol Tingley provided an update on division activities, and Kelley King, Haw River State Park superintendent, provided a tour of the park. Authority members were able to see improvements in the Summit Environmental Education Center and the new facilities at the Church Street access, made possible through PARTF funding.

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