07/09/04 — Waynesborough gets deed to expand

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Waynesborough gets deed to expand

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on July 9, 2004 1:59 PM

The Old Waynesborough Commission received the deed Thursday for 130 acres of state park land.

"We're thrilled to get it finally; now the real work begins," said Arnold Leder, vice president of finance.

He said many people used to fish and have picnics on the land on the Neuse River off U.S. 117 and will be happy the commission has it. The commission owns about 12 acres at the front of the park, including the historical village and the visitors' center.

Waynesborough State Park opened in 1986 on land that had been partially used as the city of Goldsboro's landfill. The park is about a quarter-mile from the end of Elm Street, the site of the old town of Waynesborough, the county seat from 1787 until the incorporation of Goldsboro. The park headquarters building was constructed in 1990, and the historical village was created in 1991 when several old Wayne County buildings were moved onto the site.

The state relinquished ownership of the front 12 acres of the park several years ago to the commission, which maintains the village and also operates the visitors' center. The county and the city fund the visitors' center. The historical village obtains its money from donations by the public.

It will take a while to get the 130 acres back to the way it used to be, but the commission will start working on it immediately, said Leder. It may be used for parking during this weekend's Summerfest event at the village.

"It's an absolute essential part of our park," added Leder.

The commission's board approved taking over the land in October and has been waiting for the deed since then. The next step will be developing a plan of how it will use the land and then instituting a campaign to help raise money for the projects, said Leder.

The board has discussed using the land for a variety of attractions including a picnic and camping area, a fishing and boat dock, a canoe launch and an RV park. It would also contain a portion of the Mountain-to-Sea Trail, which would be developed within the next few years. These items have been outlined in a long-range plan.

Board members determined that funding was the most important part. It received $10,000 from the Goldsboro City Council this year, and the county commissioners gave $22,500. In 2003, the city and county provided $38,000, which was combined with the $18,000 raised by the commission.

Bill Kemp, vice president of long-range planning, said Waynesborough Park needs to be one of the best parks in the country. He presented a timeline to the board at its April meeting, showing how it could reach a fund-raising goal of $1 million by 2012.

He said the commission should furnish 20 percent of the funding or as much as $200,000 eight years from now. Other ways to raise money would be through grants and charging admission to the historical village. It could also set up a program with various schools to tour the village, have more events and find more volunteers. He also suggested hiring an executive director.

The board has established a tentative budget, but did not allocate a certain amount of money for the development of the park because it did not have the deed yet.

The commission has also received its federal nonprofit status, which has made it an independent organization, separate from the Wayne County Historical Association. The commission has been a component of the association for many years.

The village is at 801 U.S. 117 S. Bypass in Goldsboro. For more information on becoming involved in the events or becoming a commission member, call 731-1653. Other upcoming events at the village include the open house and barbecue fund-raiser on Oct. 16; "Shadows of Waynesborough" on Oct. 15-16 and 22-23; and Christmas in the Village on Dec. 11.