A major grant will help the city of New Bern start construction on Martin Marietta Park.
The 800-acre park is located along South Glenburnie Road.
Friday, the city received a $475,000 grant to begin the work.
While the park is currently open to the public, people cannot drive through it, and there are no amenities other than what nature has to offer.
That will change soon as construction begins in 2019.
“This is going to be our largest park,” parks and recreation director Foster Hughes said. “This is the future for parks and recreation of New Bern.”
Hughes said phase one of construction will begin the first of the year.
“There will be picnic shelters, playgrounds, walking trails, parking, fishing piers, and a boat launch,” Hughes said.
Those things will be incorporated in phase one.
There are three planned phases.
“In the first phase of this, it will basically be a lot of infrastructure so we can get the park ready for future phases,” Hughes said.
Phases two and three will include an amphitheater, skate park, zip line, ropes course and other adventure programming.
Hughes said they got many ideas from public input sessions throughout the year.
“We had a large number of folks come to our meetings,” Hughes said. “We had a large number of folks take our surveys so they told us what they wanted to see in this park.
Hughes said phase one will take six months to a year to complete.
“Once construction is finished we will open the gates to where you can actually drive in,” Hughes said. “We are really excited.”
The park will remain open throughout construction.
Hughes said the grant money is the first step, and they plan to keep the ball rolling to get funding for the second and third phases.