LANSING —The town of Lansing received the last piece of funding needed for the land acquisition portion of the Creeper Trail Park expansion Tuesday night.
Walter Clark, executive director of Blue Ridge Conservancy, came before the Lansing board of aldermen during their regular meeting to reveal that a private donor would be covering the remaining outstanding loan for the park’s land with a donation of $45,000.
According to Clark, the agency often approaches donors who contribute to worthy causes. Clark said that the donation, which came from a couple out of Salisbury, North Carolina, speaks volumes of the town’s efforts.
“We made the case to them that Lansing had done a lot of hard work and had put together a tremendous amount of funding sources,” Clark said. “Blue Ridge Conservancy is really glad to help out with this. The park is something I feel passionate about because it is such a wonderful addition to this community.”
Newly appointed Mayor Dylan Lightfoot thanked Clark for his assistance to the town.
“Thank you for all your help with the park,” Lightfoot said. “You did more than just help, you’ve actually been pretty been integral.”
During the meeting, Town Clerk Marcy Little also revealed that the town has acquired all funds needed to match the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund Grant of $500,000 that the town had received from the state.
With the help of 16 total grant and donor sources, a total of $626,744.47 has been raised — more than $126,000 needed for the match.
Add the state’s $500,000 match and that brings the total project funding to nearly $1.12 million.
Creek bank restoration
The creek running through the Lansing Creeper Trail Park could soon become part of a restoration project thanks to the efforts of Foggy Mountain Nursery and with possible funding from U.S. Fish and Wildlife.
The project was first discussed during the board’s meeting on Nov. 10 when Glenn Sullivan, Jocelyn Lucas and Tom Davis of Foggy Mountain Nursery presented the design for the project which would help stabilize the creek and prevent damaging flooding to the park.
Sullivan previously told aldermen that the funds could possibly come from organizations such as U.S. Fish and Wildlife, North Carolina Wildlife Resources or New River Conservancy. Town officials met with several interested organizations on Dec. 3 to discuss the project and the possibility of them providing the necessary funding.
According to Little, the project’s biggest donor could be U.S. Fish and Wildlife who revealed in the meeting that the town could receive up to $200,000 from the organization for the project.
Little said that the money is already available but an engineer must sign off on the design created by Foggy Mountain Nursery and the town must submit an application.
According to Little, the creek restoration could begin as early as the spring and happen simultaneously with park expansion construction which recently kicked off with a ground breaking on Sept. 22.
Hannah Myers can be reached at 336-846-7164 or on Twitter @cmedia_hmyers.