Members of Wilmington Parks and Recreation held a public input session on Jan. 24 in Winter Park Elementary School regarding a proposed city park on one acre of land in the Seagate community at 6001 Mariner Lane. Wilmington City Council accepted the property as a donation during its Nov. 7, 2012 meeting. It was donated by Wilmington resident Bill Haneman on the condition the park be dedicated to the original owner of the property, his father Edward John Haneman, or as he was better known, Captain Eddy who was a well known figure in Wrightsville Beach’s fishing community in the 1950s through the 1990s.
Haneman requested that the new park be equipped with a playground, benches, bike racks, landscaping and a memorial plaque containing the words, “This park is dedicated to the public, in memory of Captain Eddy Haneman and his wife Mary Haneman.”
Marian Doherty, program specialist with parks and recreation and downtown services, said several Seagate area residents that attended the public input session knew Captain Eddy personally, and asked that the park take on a nautical theme in honor of Haneman’s love of the sea.
“There’s a lot of pride in the Seagate area,” Doherty said. “It’s like a small town within Wilmington. Many people who turned out tonight went to school at Winter Park Elementary.”
The park has a budget of just under $200,000.
“We hope we can do everything people suggested,” Doherty said. “I want to honor [Captain Eddy] just because of the passion these people who came here tonight had. When you’re dealing with a small tract of land, it can be difficult, but it can also be fun. You have to be creative.”
Doherty said she pictures the proposed park as more of a passive park than an active one, where residents can read a book or walk or ride bikes.
Construction is scheduled to begin in May 2013, and the projected completion date is August 2013.
A follow-up meeting will be held at the Wilmington Municipal Golf Course on a date that is yet to be determined.