Conservancy Gives Land to Town for Park

July 21, 2010

A project to expand Riverfront Park took another step forward yesterday when Tar River Land Conservancy brought nine acres of land from St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and immediately gave it to the town of Tarboro. The property on E. St. James Street and E. Pitt St. adjoins the park and was conveyed to the town with restrictions that guarantee the permanent protection of its natural features. The closing of the transaction took place Wednesday morning at the law office of Taylor, Brinson and DeLoatch.

Left to Right: Rosena Ricks and Anna Barnes of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and Derek Halberg of Tar River Land Conservancy look on as Mayor Donald Morris signs the paperwork accepting nine acres of property that will be added to Riverfront Park and provide a greenway connecting E. St. James Street with the river.

“The sale of this property is a great benefit to St. Luke’s, which has a very small congregation,” explained Anna Barnes, who serves as Treasurer for the church. “We feel fortunate and are so happy that the property will be used to expand the park for the pleasure of all Tarboreans”.

Tar River Land Conservancy raised over $50,000 for the purchase and to cover other project costs such as surveys and environmental assessments. Most of the funding came from private sources, including the Eddie and Jo Allison Smith Family Foundation, the Nicholas Bunn Boddie, Sr. and Lucy Mayo Boddie Foundation and the Conservation Trust for North Carolina.

A garden party hosted by Joe and Bernice Pitt of Tarboro in April was also instrumental in raising money for the project, which was supported by over 100 individuals from Edgecombe and nearby counties. “We are enormously grateful to our donors.” said Derek Halberg, Executive Director for the conservancy. This project would never have been possible without their generosity.”

The town contributed $2,500 towards the project and has plans to develop a greenway trail through the property that links E. St. James Street to the Riverfront Park. “We’re looking forward to developing a trail there and creating a new recreational opportunity for the community,” said Mayor Donald Morris.

In April and June, the conservancy recruited volunteers from Sara Lee Corporation and Tarboro Community Outreach to clean trash from the property before being converted to public use.