Wildwood Park

Guests of the Wildwood Park Development grand opening event partake in water sport activities on the Tar River in Greenville, North Carolina.

The City of Greenville, North Carolina, Recreation and Parks kicked off the grand opening event for phase one of its new Wildwood Park Development on Oct. 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with live music, a beer garden, food trucks, waterfront camping demonstrations, hiking trails and more.

Located at 3450 Blue Heron Drive, the event offered a “fun zone,” which included activities for children such as face painting, bounce houses and cornhole. Guests were also able to experience watersport activities on the Tar River by renting kayaks, paddle boards or biking boats. 

The City of Greenville, North Carolina, Recreation and Parks kicked off the grand opening event for phase one of its new Wildwood Park Development on Oct. 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with live music, a beer garden, food trucks, waterfront camping demonstrations, hiking trails and more.

Special Events Supervisor for Reaction and Parks Megan Howard said the grand opening event was a great opportunity for community members to experience and enjoy the new park being provided for them. 

“We’re only in phase one of development and so as the phases progress through phase three then it's going to give us access to River Park North which is another city park,” Howard said. “It’s (Wildwood Park) just a different landscape and a different area for our citizens to enjoy and hopefully for people to come into Greenville and enjoy.”

Howard said the City of Greenville is investing in its citizens with Wildwood Park. She said the city wants people to visit Greenville as a destination as well as provide a unique space for its community. 

On Oct. 15, Howard said the park held a ribbon cutting ceremony where multiple Greenville and Recreation and Parks officials spoke.

“Our director Don Octigan spoke, the mayor spoke, some other key officials spoke and it was the big opening of the community as welcomed,” Howard said.

The kickoff event opened her eyes as to what is welcomed at the park, Howard said. She said she is most excited about bringing her own family to the camping platform offered at the park.

Parent Educator and Spanish Interpreter for the Martin-Pitt Partnership for Children Yanette Moran said she decided to attend the event after her partnership noticed it on social media.

“For my partnership we did an event where we painted kindness rocks,” Moran said. “We wanted to put the kindness rocks in different parks and so we came to check out the (Wildwood) park today.”

Moran said while Greenville has many parks, Wildwood Park offers a space for families to get together during COVID-19. She said there was a need for more outdoor open spaces in Greenville.

Moran said Wildwood differs from surrounding parks with its outdoors and getaway feel. She said she will be returning to the park to check out the various hiking trails with her dog. 

Josh Hetzel, a Greenville community member, said the event and park were all about giving his kids something new to do. 

“Anything we can add to Greenville to increase the amount of things to do with children and fun family activities is a fun thing for sure,” Hetzel said.

As the development is only in its first phase, Hetzel said he anticipates seeing what's to come as the current state of the park is already perfect for his family. 

Hetzel said he heard talk of a potential rope course being provided at the park and is excited to see that offered. He said he hopes to see more challenging and “bigger kid” activities provided.

“It’s (Wildwood Park) something unique, it’s something that not every city has and I'm excited (about) the fact that we’re using natural resources that we have here in a fun, exciting family way,” Hetzel said.

According to the City of Greenville’s website, next steps for the Wildwood Park Development include mountain bike trails, bicycle skills course, trail connections with boardwalk and bridges, an observation tower located in the lake and a restroom facility with shelter improvements. Improvements are expected to be completed in 2022 and 2023, the website said.

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