The Town is currently working with MCAS Cherry Point on the acquisition of the largest remaining vacant parcel of land in Emerald Isle for future park development. The 30-acre tract located directly behind the Town Government Complex includes a mature maritime forest and approximately 1100 linear feet of frontage on Archers Creek, and is located directly within the Bogue Field flight path.
The Town has executed a contract to purchase the land, and is seeking more than $2.5 million of grant funding from MCAS Cherry Point, the NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund, and the NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund toward the $3 million purchase price. The Town expects to learn the fate of all grant applications by September, and hopes to complete the purchase in October. The Conservation Fund, a national preservation organization with an office in North Carolina, is assisting the Town on this significant project.
Upon acquisition, the Town intends to preserve approximately 20 acres as a nature park, with public hiking trails and other passive recreation amenities. The Town intends to reserve the remaining 10 acres for future active recreation facilities, potentially including a soccer field, baseball field, tennis courts, and/or other amenities desired by the community in the future. The future park will be known as McLean-Spell Park, in honor of the original founders who first began development of Emerald Isle in the 1950s.