City Partners with Coastal Land Trust on Lawson Creek Tract

Lawson Creek Tract

The City of New Bern completed purchase of a 1.581-acre parcel of land on Country Club Road adjacent to the 140-acre Lawson Creek Park. The parcel, which is located on the water, is intended for recreational use, and is ideally suited for access to the water for paddlers. In addition, the site has an existing 2,700 sq. ft. building, which can be used for Park and Recreation Department offices, for canoe and kayak storage, and for restroom and shower facilities for visitors.

The Coastal Land Trust is providing a grant of $50,000 to the City of New Bern, to be applied towards the purchase price of the property. The Coastal Land Trust’s grant is from the Harold H. Bate Foundation. Other funds for the purchase came from the City itself and the state of North Carolina’s Coastal Waterfront Access grant program.

“By acquiring this property, the City will now be able to offer services to its citizens that have not been available in the past,” said Mark Stephens, New Bern City Manager. “These activities include but are not limited to canoeing, kayaking, sailing, and paddle-boarding. The collaborative effort between the Coastal Land Trust, the Bate Foundation, and the City of New Bern is a testament to successfully cultivating partnerships to enhance community amenities and offerings while meeting the core values of our non-profit agencies. We are also especially appreciative to the owner, former New Bern resident Mary Ann Harrison, who was also committed to the success of this project, for selling the tract for far less than its appraised value.”

“The Coastal Land Trust is grateful to the Harold H. Bate Foundation, and thrilled to be able to contribute to this project”, said Janice Allen, Deputy Director of the Coastal Land Trust. “The location of this parcel on New Bern’s waterfront means that lots of people will be able to get outside and enjoy the region’s beautiful waterways.”

The Coastal Land Trust assists communities like New Bern in creating parks and nature preserves. It played a key role with Craven County in establishing the Latham –Whitehurst Nature Park on Upper Broad Creek; with the City of Havelock at its Slocum Creek Waterfront Park; and with many other communities up and down the coast.

The property purchased will be a wonderful recreational site for residents of New Bern. The site is strategically located, and will be part of New Bern’s Riverwalk, which will eventually link all the city’s waterfront parks, from Union Point Park on the Neuse River, to Leander Morgan Park on the Trent, and on to Lawson Creek Park and Tryon Palace. In addition, it is in a location that will allow it to serve a significant role in the City’s “Gateway Renaissance Plan” to transform this area of New Bern into a cultural hub and gateway to the city. The City considered this property to be a very high priority.

About North Carolina Coastal Land Trust

The North Carolina Coastal Land Trust works with landowners in North Carolina to save the lands you love at the coast, for the benefit of all North Carolinians. A membership organization, the Coastal Land Trust has helped save 65,000 acres of land in 22 coastal counties of the state since 1992. The Coastal Land Trust has offices in Elizabeth City, Wilmington and New Bern.

For more information on North Carolina Coastal Land Trust, please visit

Submitted by: Colleen M. Roberts, Public Information Officer and Brand Manager, City of New Bern