CommunityGovernment and Politics

City of Wilson Awarded $375,000 Grant for Cavalier Park Improvements

(Wilson, NC) The City of Wilson has been awarded $375,000 from the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund for improvements at Cavalier Park. Improvements will include a new playground, shelter, updated restrooms, accessible walking trail, pickleball courts and a new drainage system for the entire park. Two improved multi-purpose fields and dedicated off-street parking will also be included.

The Rotary Club of Greater Wilson is donating $100,000 to the project, which will be included as part of the local match required by the grant. The total project cost is nearly $750,000.

“The Rotary Club of Greater Wilson has a long-standing tradition of supporting Wilson’s parks and recreation programs,” said Connor Bedgood, club president. “The improvements at Cavalier Park have been discussed for a decade and we are proud to partner with the city to see them happen.

We recognize the benefit that Cavalier Park has to the Wilson community. These improvements will not only add to the number of people who can use the park, but will bring to our community new programs and trends in recreation such as pickleball. We are eager to see the new Cavalier Park.”

The City will host a community event at the park in early October. During the event, renderings of the planned improvements will be available. The project team will be in attendance to explain the scope of the project and answer any questions from the community.

“Cavalier Park is a great community asset,” said David Lee, Wilson Parks and Recreation Director. “As we developed the Parks and Recreation Master Plan, we had many conversations with residents about what Wilson needs in terms of parks and programming.

We think these improvements at Cavalier Park are a great step to meet those wishes. Cavalier will be a fully accessible park, great for strollers and wheelchairs. It will be an excellent addition to Wilson’s current park options. And it will introduce the Wilson community to pickleball, a fun activity for many ages.”

Lee attended the committee review of grant applications in Raleigh last Friday. The committee reviews each application in depth before making its funding decisions.

“We had a very positive review of our application,” said Lee. “The committee highlighted the depth of our application, the public involvement in the process, and the accessibility components included in our plan. They were also impressed with the $100,000 donation from the Rotary Club of Greater Wilson towards the project, showing the community’s commitment. At the end of our review, one of the committee members said, ‘this is going to be a great park’ which is nice to hear considering how many projects they see.”

PARTF grants are highly competitive grants provided to local governments for parks and recreational projects to serve the public. Grants require a dollar-for-dollar local match. In this year’s grant cycle, only $6 million was available with $18 million requested, meaning only a third of projects submitted for consideration were funded.

“The whole PARTF grant process has become highly competitive over the years,” said Lee. “We are thrilled Wilson was chosen to receive a grant. Only 21 projects were funded out of 61 submitted statewide.”

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