ELIZABETHTOWN — Bladen County could soon be home to a splash pad.
It was recently announced that the county was on the verge of receiving $500,000 from Trillium Health Resources to build an all-inclusive children’s playground at Bladen County Park off the US Highway. 701
“I was tickled to death by this,” Commissioner Charles Ray Peterson said. “A splash guard is my top priority for this money because I genuinely believe it will be good for the citizens.”
Trillium funding has helped other areas build an all-encompassing children’s playground – such as Wilmington, Ahoskie, Supply, Morehead City, Havelok, New Bern and Onslow.
In Wilmington, the water park cost about $200,000 and in Ahoskie, the water park cost about $175,000.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for Bladen County,” County Manager Greg Martin said when the announcement was made last week.
According to Peterson, the district is currently writing the contract, and once it’s signed, Trillium will wire the $500,000 to the district.
:From there it’s up to us to get things going at the park,” he said. “I imagine the first thing that’s there now, which is about 12 years old, will be dismantled. It is possible that some or all of these could be used elsewhere.”
Peterson added that one of the key requirements for receiving the money is that it be used in a county park.
“That’s a big stipulation from Trillium,” Peterson said.
A contingent of the county’s Board of Commissioners plans to visit some of the parks that Trillium has helped fund to brainstorm ideas for what else might be coming to Bladen County.
“We could maybe have a shelter or two for birthday parties or whatever, along with other items like a special slide and swings,” Peterson said.
“All of that is going to happen, and it shouldn’t be that far anymore,” he added.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-862-4163 or [email protected]