Approximately 119 acres near downtown Wendell will be preserved as open space thanks to a recent decision by the Wake County Board of Commissioners.
Commissioners Monday voted to use $1.08 million of 2018 Parks, Greenways, Recreation and Open Space bond money to purchase the Wake Equity property, which is adjacent to the Town of Wendell Community Park.
“This is another step toward our goal of preserving open space and expanding access to parks, preserves, recreation resources and greenways in Wake County,” said Commissioner Sig Hutchinson. “Our open spaces help protect our water quality, support public health and encourage economic development—ultimately improving the quality of life in our area.”
The successful 2018 Parks, Greenways, Recreation and Open Space bond reserved approximately $20 million to continue the county’s efforts toward open space preservation. In 2019, county staff put forward an open space request for proposals to solicit responses from landowners interested in preserving their property.
After receiving more than 200 responses, staff presented 41 potential acquisitions to the Board of Commissioners at its Oct. 26, 2020, work session.
Wake County's Open Space Program strives to protect the remaining natural lands in the county in partnership with local non-governmental organizations, municipalities and state/federal agencies. The program's objective is to protect 30% of Wake County’s land area (or roughly 165,000 acres) as permanent open space.
Commissioners agreed to purchase the Wake Equity property for about $1.3 million. Of that total cost, $1.08 million will come from bond money, with the remaining $260,200 being appropriated from the N.C. Department of Transportation 540 settlement, which puts in place protections for clean air, clean water and endangered aquatic species.