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Sinkholes and shoreline erosion: Snows Cut Park to close permanently

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New Hanover County
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New Hanover County has notified the Army Corps of the park closing and has submitted the required one-year notice to terminate the land lease.

Snows Cut Park will permanently close on June 30, 2021. In a press release, New Hanover County cited "significant and persistent shoreline erosion that has occurred, forming steep embankments along the shoreline, compromising the septic system, and creating sinkholes on the land."

“Our team has, for years, conducted safety assessments with the county’s Risk Management, relocated fencing, and installed signage to prevent visitors from accessing the eroded embankments, but these measures have not been enough to completely ensure the safety of park visitors,” said New Hanover County Parks and Gardens Director Tara Duckworth.

“To make the septic repairs that are needed, approximately 40 trees would need to be removed and that would further exacerbate the erosion issues. In addition, our insurance carrier will no longer provide coverage for the park unless we can demonstrate that it is safe, and at this time, we can’t guarantee safety and have to close the par," she added.

Snows Cut Park is located at 9420 River Road. The US Army Corps of Engineers owns the property, and the county leases it from them. The county has notified the Army Corps of the park closing and has submitted the required one-year notice to terminate the land lease to the Army Corps.

The park's playground equipment will be relocated to the nearby River Road Park beginning this week, and the picnic shelters will begin to be removed in the coming weeks.

“While we know closing Snows Cut Park will be disappointing for some of our residents, and it is for us too, we have to do what is right to ensure the safety of our park visitors,” said Duckworth. “We have seen a significant decline in the number of people visiting Snows Cut Park over the past few years because of the park’s condition, and we are fortunate to have River Road Park just a few miles away, which is a popular park with even more amenities and direct water access that our community can continue to enjoy.”