Kinston park to get makeover with new state funds

Kinston park to get makeover with new state funds
Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 6:22 PM EDT
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KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) - An Eastern Carolina city has unveiled renovation plans for one of its oldest parks thanks to state and federal funding.

The renovation is coming to Emma Webb Park in Kinston. It’s something city leaders have been working on for years and the new grant is allowing it to come to fruition.

Emma Webb Park, the centerpiece of the Kinston community, isn’t the most stunning place in the world, but new funding will allow it to get a makeover.

“Last year, before I was even on the city council, me and other community leaders led a development process, in partnership with the city, and an architecture firm- design workshop to come up with a full master plan on how we could redevelop and redesign this park,” Chris Suggs, Kinston city councilman said.

The park has a gymnastics center, a playground, and a pool that hasn’t been used in three years.

A rendering of the renovation shows the addition of trails, a splash pad, and an amphitheater.

Renderings show renovation plans for Emma Webb Park in Kinston
Renderings show renovation plans for Emma Webb Park in Kinston(Kinston Teens)

The upgrades are being paid through a $500,000 grant provided by the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund.

“In addition to the $500,000 from the state we’re receiving, the city is also committing $500,000 of its own funds from the American Rescue Plan to also go toward renovations, so that’s $1 million in funding right now we’ll have to really get things kicked off,” Suggs said.

On top of the additions to the park, there will also be the restoration of the park stream.

“What it’s gonna take to basically clean up the banks of the river, along with widening it, there’s some flood mitigation that’s gonna take place with the stream to allow it to accommodate more water in any given period,” Corey Povar, Kinston/Lenoir County Parks and Rec director said.

Other counties in the East, including Craven, Greene, Nash, and Onslow counties are also getting grant money to renovate parks.

There isn’t a timetable yet for any of these projects.

The North Carolina Parks and Recreation Authority says it will also fund several capital projects at Hammock’s Beach State Park in Onslow County.

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