Wake County provides outdoor recreation and educational opportunities to help maintain the quality of life that residents enjoy. To further that mission, the county is asking voters to decide on a $120 million, six-year bond for open space preservation, greenways, new park and nature preserve construction, and existing park renovations.

The Breakdown

Open Space Preservation and Greenway Development

Amount: $46.2 million

Wake County's Open Space Program, the first of its kind in North Carolina, protects remaining open space in the county by working with local, state and federal partners. The program's overarching objective is to protect 30 percent of Wake County’s land area, or roughly 165,000 acres, as permanent open space.

The development of the county’s Greenway System Plan began in the fall of 2015. The vision for the plan is to create a connected and comprehensive system of greenway trails that will enhance quality of life throughout the county.

If approved: The bond would go toward preserving open space and unique habitats across Wake County and connect them through a network of greenway corridors and trails.

Potential projects: Working with municipal partners, Wake County will continue building out the greenway network throughout the county.

New Park and Nature Preserve Construction

Amount: $34.7 million

As Wake County continues to grow, the demand on our facilities and programs increases. Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space is working to meet the recreational and educational needs of our growing population. Take a look at our Master Plan here.

If approved: Funds would go toward developing new amenities and better public access at new park and open space sites, providing additional recreational opportunities across the county.

Potential projects: Lake Myra County Park, Southeast County Park, Kellam-Wyatt Farm, Robertson Millpond Preserve (Phase Two) and Sinclair Nature Preserve.

Existing Park Renovations

Amount: $39.1 million

Wake County operates parks and nature preserves that provide opportunities for recreation and education. Visitors can enjoy everything from mountain biking and sailing to visiting the last operating gristmill in the county and learning about the Piedmont’s flora and fauna. There is truly something for everyone at Wake County parks and preserves.

If approved: Funds would be used to enhance and expand existing facilities.

Potential projects: New canoe/kayak launches, playgrounds, classrooms for public programs, visitor centers and trail construction and enhancements.

The Facts

What is a bond referendum?
A bond referendum gives voters the opportunity to decide whether the county may use general obligation bonds to finance these projects. A general obligation bond is backed by the full faith, credit and taxing power of the county and is considered public debt. General obligation bonds carry lower interest rates than other bonds or financing methods.

What is the total tax rate impact for the Parks, Greenways, Recreation and Open Space bond?
If voters approve this bond, the property tax impact would be $3.50 per $100,000 of assessed property value. For example, a home valued at $300,000 would see a $10.50 annual tax increase.

What happens if the bond doesn’t pass in November?
Projects will not move forward unless an alternate funding plan is identified.

How can I learn more?
County officials and staff members are available to discuss the bond at your organization’s next meeting or event. To schedule a speaker, email parksbond2018@wakegov.com.

The Details

Wake County encourages residents to vote on Nov. 6.

Early voting takes place Oct. 17 – Nov. 3.

The voter registration deadline is Friday, Oct. 12. Learn how to register, where to find your polling place and more here, or call the Wake County Board of Elections at 919-856-6240.

The Vision

​Wake County’s parks and open spaces do more than provide recreational opportunities for our residents—they also represent a cultural identity and a natural legacy. In Fiscal Year 2018, nearly 1.3 million people visited the county’s eight parks and two preserves. As the county grows, we will continue to offer opportunities and resources to maintain the quality of life that makes Wake County a great place to live, work, play and learn.

Learn more about Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space here. View the county's Park Facility Master Plan here.