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July 08
​Board Votes to Quadruple Size of Popular Park

First project to receive funds from 2018 voter-approved bond

Featuring three playgrounds, a boardwalk, interpretive gardens and more, Crowder County Park is Wake County’s third most-visited location, with more than 155,000 people visiting in Fiscal Year 2018.

But at just 33 acres, it’s also the second smallest.

The Wake County Board of Commissioners, at its regular meeting on Monday, July 8, unanimously approved the purchase of 96 acres of land north of the park – a move that will quadruple its size.

“There’s a lot of activity packed into this small park,” said Emerson Barker, deputy director of Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space. “We’re excited for this opportunity to expand it and further meet the needs of this growing part of Wake County.”

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The expansion has been a long time coming. In 1992, Doris Crowder donated the original 33 acres of land to Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space. Crowder County Park, located on Ten-Ten Road in Apex, opened to the public in 1998. The county has since tried unsuccessfully to acquire the adjacent property, and after 21 years, the land finally became available. Surrounded by housing developments to the east, west and south, this is the only opportunity the park has to grow.

The total price of the land is $4.9 million, and the county will use several sources to pay for the purchase.  

  • $1.7 million will be funded by the Parks, Greenways, Recreation and Open Space bonds, which 68% of voters approved in 2018. This expansion was ranked highest on a list of bond funding projects by county staff and the Open Space and Parks Advisory Committee because of the unique opportunity it presents.
  • $3.1 million will be provided by the Little River Reimbursement fund.
  • The remaining $77,572 will be covered by Recreation Land Area Contributions – money set aside for open space by developers.

Expanding the park will require a master planning process, which includes opportunities for the public to provide feedback.

Completion could come in Fiscal Year 2025, and uses could include hiking/walking trails, fishing, environmental education and other recreation. A future connection to the Town of Cary’s Jack Smith Park and greenway system could also be possible.

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About Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space
Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space strives to provide outdoor recreation and educational opportunities while promoting environmental and cultural stewardship through a managed system of parks and open spaces. In 2018, more than 1.3 million people visited Wake County’s 10 parks and nature preserves.

Through its Open Space Preservation Program, Wake County has acquired over 6,500 acres of land across the county. To date the county has acquired 24 properties or 260 acres of open space and park land in the Swift Creek area.

To learn more about Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space, follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @WakeGovParks. You can also check out each of our parks on Facebook.

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