Work on the development of the Lewis Farm Road Recreation Area west of Havelock is expected in about three to six months.


Work on the development of the Lewis Farm Road Recreation Area west of Havelock is expected in about three to six months.



Patrick Williams, leisure program coordinator for Havelock, said the city was reviewing requests for quotations from professional management firms that would be responsible for coordinating the construction phase of the project.



The city plans to initially develop a small portion of the 46-acre tract at the end of Lewis Farm Road near Carolina Pines.



The first phase of the project calls for one multi-purpose field that will be slightly larger than a football field. It will be fully lighted, according to Williams. Also part of the first phase is a 2,600 square-foot building to contain restrooms and a concession area. A 2,800 square-yard parking lot will be constructed at the site along with a small shelter and playground area.



Havelock received a $500,000 N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant to make the park possible. The state accepted the land’s assessed value of $612,000 as the city’s half of the match, but the city also is contributing $75,874 to finance the project. The N.C. Coastal Land Trust deeded Havelock the property in 2013 in cooperation with Cherry Point.



“In the next three to six months, we will start seeing ground turning on the field as well as the structures that are out there,” Williams said. “We’re having to figure out who we’re going to use as professional services, which will be over all the contractors.  Once we get that done, we’ll have to do a bidding process for grading and the contracts for the buildings at the site.”



The city plans an official groundbreaking but no date has been set.



Meanwhile, a nonprofit veterans assistance corporation has proposed the creation of an organic garden at the recreational area. Veterans Employment Base Camp and Organic Garden, with the support of the Coastal Land Trust, has asked the city for two acres of the tract to be used for the benefit of veterans.



“Right now, the tentative plans are to go forward,” said Dave Smith, director of Parks and Recreation for Havelock.



Smith said city commissioners have to approve the proposal.



According to a letter of intent sent to the city on Nov. 4, 2013, “the garden will be established to assist disabled veterans through the use of horticulture therapy and homeless of disadvantaged veterans with transitional employment by selling produce.”



The group proposes to lease the two acres for $1 per year over 10 years. According to the letter, the produce “will be grown using organic principles initially with the ultimate goal of USDA organic certification.”



Lovay Wallace-Singleton, with the organic garden organization, said the garden would be funded through grants, donations and fundraisers at first, with the goal to become self-sustaining. The garden could earn money by sales to farmers markets, for example.



The organization would be responsible for funding the project, not the city, Smith said.



Smith said that the garden would fall under allowable uses by the Coastal Land Trust and believes city commissioners will support the plan.



“I don’t think it will be an issue because there is so much acreage out there and there is only so much that we can use for recreation,” Smith said.



Development of the property is in the early stages and Smith said he wasn’t sure when commissioners would look at the project.