Cedar Point secures $60K state grant to build kayak launch in park | News
CEDAR POINT — The state notified Cedar Point officials Friday the town will receive a $60,000 N.C. Division of Coastal Management grant to build a kayak-launch facility and parking lot in the waterfront Boathouse Creek Walking Trails park.
Cedar Point commissioners voted 4-0 in July to file an application for the state grant to pay most of the cost of the project. The town must now provide a $20,000 match.
In an email Friday afternoon, town clerk Jayne Calhoun, who wrote the grant application, said, “We are very excited to announce that the Town has been awarded a $60,000 (Coastal Area Management Act) Access grant towards construction of our (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant kayak launch and parking area. We hope to have it open to the public spring 2022.”
The facility will be near a newly completed pier and gazebo in the park, a 56-acre natural area off the end of Masonic Avenue. The town purchased the land in 2019 with proceeds from a successful bond referendum the previous year.
Other improvements include a new picnic shelter near the entrance.
Friday, Commissioner John Nash congratulated Ms. Calhoun for “preparing and shepherding the grant application” through the approval process with DCM.
“We thought we had a shot and made a good case,” he said. “Now I think we are on the way to becoming a destination area for kayakers.”
He specifically mentioned Swansboro, home to Hammocks Beach State Park, which is popular with kayakers, and Cape Carteret, which opened its kayak, canoe and paddleboat launching facility last week.
Mr. Nash said he’s proud of the way Cedar Point’s capital plan to improve Boathouse Creek Walking Trails park has accelerated, exceeding expectations. Part of that has been related to an anonymous cash donation of $140,000, which paid for the pier and other amenities.
“I feel like we’re way ahead of schedule,” Mr. Nash said.
Town manager David Rief said Friday he, too, is proud of Ms. Calhoun and her grant-writing ability.
“We’ll have the kayak launch, the parking lot and there should be a winding path to the launch and the pier,” he said. “Sometimes things just fall into place.”
The next step is to go out for bids for construction of the kayak launch.
The town is also working to get bathrooms for the recreational space, which is heavily wooded and crisscrossed by natural trails.
The town has also received three other grants totaling close to $2 million, mostly to reduce the debt incurred with the bond referendum. Two of those grants are also from the state, and the other is from the N.C. Coastal Land Trust. The state grants – especially one from the N.C. Land and Water Conservation Fund, limit where the amenities go, so the town planned and is implementing the improvements in areas not covered by the fund’s conservation easement.
Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email [email protected]; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.