New park to open at Factory Creek vista

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The Open Land Trust, in partnership with Beaufort County and the City of Beaufort purchased land along Factory Creek for creation of a passive public park and a dock for fishing and crabbing.

The property consists of four parcels located at the base of the Woods Memorial Bridge east of the Lady’s Island Boat Ramp.  There are four buildings on the site which will eventually be razed to accommodate the park.

Purchase of these properties was made possible by a private donation to the Open Land Trust from the Judith Haskell Brewer Fund of The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia. The park will have a dedicated memorial to Mrs. Brewer honoring her contribution.

The four parcels were purchased for a total of $1.45 million, the majority paid by the Trust through the donated Gift from the Brewer Fund, the remaining portions picked up by the County’s Rural and Critical Land Program and the City of Beaufort.

Approximately 20,000 cars a day travel between Meridian Road and Highway 802 and by opening up the view and access to Factory Creek  it will assist in the revitalization of Lady’s Island. “This will provide another iconic land legacy for the citizens of the County. The Open Land Trust thanks all who helped us make this project successful. We feel strongly that the scenic beauty of Beaufort is what creates a ‘sense of place’ and makes our community so very special.”

Paul Sommerville, Vice Chairman of Beaufort County Council, said the property will benefit citizens for many generations. “The people of Lady’s Island will enjoy this park in perpetuity. It will offer a much needed resource in the way of passive recreation for individuals and families and serve as a place where folks can come together to fish, crab and enjoy nature. I am pleased the County could contribute to this joint effort.”

Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling said he is pleased with the purchase and plans for a public park. “I am delighted that the partnership between the City of Beaufort, the Open Land Trust and Beaufort County is progressing so that, through collaboration we can share resources to protect view sheds and open space for the betterment of all who live here and those who visit us. Special thanks from the City Council to the advisors of the Judith Haskell Brewer Fund for their generous contribution that leaves a permanent imprint on our wonderful community.”

The Beaufort County Open Land Trust was the first land trust in the state. Its mission to preserve the scenic vistas of Beaufort County has had the support of citizens and local governments since it began in 1971. Notable examples of success exist on the Bay Street “Bluff” and at Bellamy Curve entering the City of Beaufort.

The Open Land Trust is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to protect land permanently by working with private citizens and communities.  The Trust accepts donations of properties and conservation easements and helps landowners preserve their land forever.

The County’s Rural and Critical Land Preservation Program was overwhelmingly approved for funding by voters and has saved more than 18,000 acres of undeveloped land for parks, buffers, animal habitat, environmental and economic protection and for cultural and historic preservation.

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