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Greenville welcomes new Wildwood Park

SAT. | 05-08-21 | NEWS

     The new Wildwood park in Greenville will be opening in the late summer after over a year in the making. The City Council adopted the Tar River Legacy Plan in 2014, they were able to access land by the river and about a mile of the Tar River itself. Wildwood Park was made to provide the community with new outdoor recreation activities and opportunities. The location that was chosen for the ponds and lakes on the property and its proximity to the Tar River. The park will be located at 3450 Blue Heron Drive, Greenville, NC, occupying 364 acres of land.

      “The decision to implement an adventure-based park was due to public engagement and feedback,” Director of City of Greenville Recreation & Parks Department Don Octigan said. “Wildwood Park will provide the community an opportunity to learn ... new water sports.”

      There will be access to hiking, biking, fishing, camping, boating, outdoor events and other activities once the first phase is complete. A trail is going to be created, reaching about 1.5 miles long. There will also be a playground that will be nature-based and constructed in future phases.


Photo taken by Ashley Van Havere

      “Amenities included in the first two phases will include a parking lot, trails, a camping platform, a floating dock with boat slips and a kayak launch, a sandy beach, bridges and boardwalk, a fishing pier and an observation tower,” Octigan said. 

      While the park has not been completed yet, it is however, currently in phase one of construction. Phase one includes construction with the parking lot, camping platform, floating boat dock, kayak and canoe launch, a sandy beach, natural surface trail, street lights and pavilion lighting. Greenville Recreation and Parks staff members who are in charge of constructing the park are working with a design firm company to plan phase two. 

      “Phase 2 will include sections of boardwalk, two bridges, a fishing pier, canopy walk and an observation tower,” Octigan said. “Once phase 2 is complete, both sides of Wildwood Park will be connected via trails and there will be a boardwalk connection to River Park North.”

       The City of Greenville’s Public Works and Recreation and Parks Departments, Sawyers Land Developing, Designco Construction, EZ Dock and Grady-White Boats have all been a part of the team in funding and constructing the park. Octigan said that the project took so long to complete because of the large amount of acreage to plan for and the lack of basic services and amenities when it was purchased. 

       “A project this size will take years to complete and multiple funding sources,” Octigan said. “Various public-private partnerships will be created to help further activate and develop Wildwood Park.”

      There were some challenges that the team had to face such as having to obtain various permits and certifications like a No-Rise Certification, Floodplain Development Permit, Land Disturbance Permit, NCDOT Driveway Permit and others. 

      “Many of the permits were anticipated, however some were more complicated than expected,” Octigan said. “The permits are not specific to building a park and most, if not all, would apply to anyone else trying to develop this particular piece of property.”

      Even though it will take several years before Wildwood Park is fully developed, members involved have hope in meeting the citizens of Greenville's current and future recreational needs and desires.

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