N.C. Parks and Recreation Authority Approves $17.4 Million for State Parks Capital Improvement and Land Acquisition Projects Across North Carolina

The North Carolina Parks and Recreation Authority, which oversees the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF), recently approved $17.4 million to fund nine capital improvement projects and six land acquisitions for North Carolina state parks, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. The Authority approved the investments at its meeting held Nov. 4 at the state arboretum in Asheville.

Gorges State Park Opens 13-Acre Family Campground

Thanks to funds from the Connect N.C. Bond Project, Gorges State Park will open a family campground on Saturday, Oct. 29, according to the Division of Parks and Recreation. The 13-acre campground features five camper cabins, 14 campsites and 16 tent campsites. The campground also has a modern bathhouse.

Tyson Phillips Named First Superintendent of Pisgah View State Park

Tyson Phillips will be the first superintendent of Pisgah View State Park, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. The park was authorized in 2019, but the lands will remain closed to the public while the park is planned, facilities are constructed and staff is hired. The Division estimates that the lands will open as a state park in 2025.

Located in Buncombe and Haywood counties in the town of Candler, the site of the future state park is just 16 miles southwest of Asheville.

Campground at Pettigrew State Park To Close in 2023 for Expansion

The campground at Pettigrew State Park in Creswell, N.C., will close on Jan.1, 2023 for the construction of new campground facilities, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. The project will include the refurbishment of existing campsites and the construction of new facilities and amenities. Construction is expected to take up to 12 months.

Haynes Named Superintendent of Bob's Creek State Natural Area in McDowell County

Matt Haynes is the new park superintendent at Bob's Creek State Natural Area in McDowell County, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. He is the first superintendent of the natural area, which was authorized in 2017.

Haynes served as a park ranger at Hanging Rock State Park for nine years before a promotion to advanced ranger at Chimney Rock, where he also served for nine years. During his time as a ranger, he periodically acted as superintendent and was the lead natural resources ranger.

Shimel To Lead State Parks’ East District

Joe Shimel is the new east district superintendent of North Carolina state parks, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. Shimel succeeds Sarah Kendrick, who served as acting superintendent beginning in 2020. Kendrick will return to her post as superintendent of Hammocks Beach State Park.

A district superintendent is the chief of operations and administration of a park district with wide-ranging responsibilities for staffing, planning, law enforcement, and visitor services.

Extensive Renovations, Construction Will Close Campgrounds, Pool, Cabins & Trails at Morrow Mountain State Park

Construction and renovation of campground facilities, trails, picnic facilities and the pool at Morrow Mountain State Park will cause extensive amenity closures beginning June 13.

Closures will include three family campgrounds, family vacation cabins, and picnic shelter A. The park pool will remain closed this season for renovations.

Hikers and equestrians can expect periodic trail closures beginning June 13 for the next 12 months. Over 14 miles of trail re-routes and four miles of trail repairs will be completed during this time.

Third and final phase of acquisitions completed for Bobs Creek State Natural Area in McDowell County by Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina and North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation

On March 30, Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina and the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation closed on the purchase of 2,249 acres in McDowell County to become part of Bobs Creek State Natural Area. This purchase is the last of three acquisitions for the new state natural area and increases its total size to more than 6,000 acres. The first two phases of the project, about 3,700 acres, were purchased in 2019.

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