Interactive park aimed at children set to open in downtown Wilmington

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The New Hanover County Main Library entrance remains closed due to construction of Story Park. Photo by Hannah Leyva.
The New Hanover County Main Library entrance remains closed due to construction of Story Park. Photo by Hannah Leyva.

WILMINGTON – Construction is still ongoing in front of New Hanover County’s Main Library in downtown Wilmington, but a date has been set for the official unveiling of the new Story Park.

According to Harry Tuchmayer, director of the New Hanover County Library, work is staying on schedule for an anticipated fall opening.

“Things are moving very well,” Tuchmayer said. “We’ve had more issues with the front door than anticipated, but work is scheduled to be completed by the end of September.”

A grand opening ceremony is planned for Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 9 a.m. According to Tuchmayer, the celebration is scheduled for that time because it occurs near the same time as their toddler and preschool programs.

“So much of what we’ve designed is geared toward pre-kindergarten-aged children and their parents,” said Tuchmayer. “So we want to get them involved.”

In addition to interactive sections that include musical displays and a giant chess/checkers board, the park will feature four separate gardens: a rain garden, a shade garden, a pollinator garden and an edible garden. The library is working with the master gardeners at the the New Hanover County Arboretum to grow some of the plants, and several trees will be planted in the park as soon as the first cold snap hits, according to Tuchmayer.

Though the barriers are down in front of the main library’s Chestnut Street entrance, Tuchmayer said it will still be closed until the whole park opens, as crews are still working to lay cement. Patrons can access the library through the entrance from the parking deck that can be accessed on Second Street.