Friday, January 21, 2022

Carolina Beach’s Lake Park could be getting a $4.5 million makeover

A gaggle of geese are making quite a mess at Carolina Beach's Lake Park (Port City Daily/Michael Praats)
The Town of Carolina Beach’s Lake Park could soon be getting a major makeover. (Port City Daily/Michael Praats)

CAROLINA BEACH — It was once noted by the Guinness Book of Records as the closest freshwater lake to the Atlantic Ocean, but now, most people just know it as Carolina Beach’s Lake Park. As one of the town’s most popular destinations, the Town of Carolina Beach has been working to give the park a brand new look — and on June 9, Town Council and residents will get a firsthand look at the proposed draft for improvements at the park.

Lake Park has seen its share of problems in the past with the ill-fated lake dredging project that has still not been completed and some algae issues, but overall, the lake is still a popular choice for visitors and residents. That is why the town has partnered with Benesch to redesign the park for the modern era.

“After years of use, partial dredging of the lake, and changing building codes the park needs updating. Likewise, changes in the public’s use of parks and recreation facilities have resulted in demand for a wider variety
of play and special events experiences. Recognizing this need and following the recommendation of the comprehensive master plan the Town initiated a site-specific master planning process to enhance Lake Park,” according to the draft proposal.

Overall, the plans for improving the park are estimated to cost the town $4.6 million but some grant funding is available and the town is hoping to receive some money to help the project along.

While the park does have some amenities, the redevelopment of it would greatly enhance the quality of activities available. For example, the current ‘playground’ consists of a metal swing set with two swings — proposed plans would see this demolished and replaced with a more robust playground system for children.

But a new playground is far from the only improvement the town is hoping to make to Lake Park, there are several priority improvements that the town and Benesch are suggesting to Town Council.

A new water feature or a ‘sprayground’ is also a priority for the town as is a new amphitheater and multipurpose lawn and a farmers market facility.

Lake Park serves as an event space for many different community activities throughout the year including a farmers market, summer concerts, and outdoor movies.

Farmers Market

The Carolina Beach Farmers Market could get a permanent home if the town goes through with plans for it. (Port City Daily/Courtesy Carolina Beach Market)
  • Twin Farmer’s Market Shelters with a connecting
    plaza
  • Multi-purpose revenue-generating facility
  • Located near Lake Park Blvd. for more curb appeal

Sprayground

  • Located in the northeast corner of the park
  • Safer option for younger kids
  • Decorative & attractive

Amphitheater & Multi-Purpose Lawn

  • Replace the Stingray Amphitheater
  • New stage will be covered & ADA
    accessible.
  • Larger concert lawn: 0.25 acres

Playground

The existing playground at Lake Park consists of a metal swingset with two swings. (Port City Daily/Courtesy Town of Carolina Beach)
  • A new playground with age-appropriate play is needed
  • Additional amenities include picnic shelters, benches, shade trees, shade structure, and swings

Town Council will hear the full presentation on June 9 and make a decision on how they would like to move forward with the plans. You can view the full presentation here.

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