Wake County invites residents to weigh in on the latest plans for its newest park, Kellam-Wyatt Farm, a 59-acre, lush property of woods, lakes and open fields in eastern Raleigh.
The county will hold a virtual public meeting from 6:30–8 p.m. Wednesday, March 24, to give an update on the planning process and to review draft plan options. People will be able to share their thoughts during the meeting and afterward via an online survey.
Normally at this phase in the planning process, the county would hold in-person community meetings to gather feedback. But with COVID-19 limiting how people can gather, the meeting had to be moved to a virtual platform.
“Residents’ input is critical as we plan our parks and preserves,” said Wake County Commissioner Susan Evans. “While this feedback process may look a little different, it’s still as important as ever. This is an opportunity to play an active role in the future of a park that people will enjoy for years to come.”
The meeting materials will be available online in both English and Spanish following the meeting.
Reporters who want to attend the meeting should use the same registration link as attendees.
The three-generation family farm and woodland sanctuary is located off New Bern Avenue between Raleigh and Knightdale. It has much to offer in natural beauty, wildlife habitat and sustainable, educational agriculture.
In 2018, the Wake County Board of Commissioners accepted the donation of the farm from Susan Wyatt, her late husband, Robert (Bob) Kellam, and his daughter, Leewyn Kellam. The property was donated with a conservation easement, which means the land is legally limited to certain uses that support conservation values such as open space, scenic views, habitat and watershed protection, preservation of rural character and agricultural production.
“As Wake County’s population has sky-rocketed, and fields and forests have been replaced with roofs and pavement, our determination to preserve and share open space with future generations has been reinforced,” Susan Wyatt said in April 2018. “We feel confident that Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space will be an excellent steward for the future of the farm.”
A public process is underway to develop a master plan that will protect the site’s natural and agricultural character while allowing for public access, education and recreation.
In October, residents were asked to provide input via an online survey. Design consultants working with Wake County utilized those initial ideas and feedback to develop draft master plan options, which will be reviewed during the virtual meeting on March 24. After this round of public review, a refined master plan will be presented to the public during another virtual public meeting this spring. After the final public meeting the draft master plan will be presented to the Wake County Board of Commissioners for approval.
The county hopes to complete the master plan this spring, then move into design development and ultimately construction over the next few years.