Why isn’t Chatham County doing this?

By Megan Lynch

Pittsboro, NC – Town of Cary purchases 217 acres in Chatham County for parks and open space preservation at a cost of $13.6 million from funds provided by a 2019 voter-approved bond referendum.

This purchase is adjacent to the New Hope Church Road Trail head for Chatham County’s section of the American Tobacco Trail.  Chatham County pays the town of Cary an annual fee to maintain Chatham’s section of the ATT.

One of the reasons Cary has such nice parks (see Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve) and greenways (see White Oak Creek Greenway) is because they are willing to put park bond referendums on the ballot and Cary voters are willing to approve bonds to invest in parks and open space. Although I think Cary is way over-developed for my tastes, at least they seem to now realize they need to preserve open space before it is all gone and they are willing to use bonds to help do it.

I really wish our county would try doing park bond referendums to help pay for all the wonderful things included in their master plans and park-specific plans. We will never get beyond the paper plan if they don’t get serious about seeking funding.  The longer Chatham County delays, the more expensive land gets and the less attainable it will become. If anything, this time of Covid has shown us how important trails and parks are for all of us.

Interest rates are so low now!