Lake Lure to Create Morse Park Recreation Plan

Centered in the heart of Lake Lure is the ever-popular Morse Park, a relatively small and serenely beautiful footprint of a space primarily located along the shores of Lake Lure. 

Whether it's for bird watching, baseball, or a leisurely bicycle ride, one thing is certain: because of the multiple ways in which to enjoy it, along with its stellar backdrop of the Rumbling Bald Mountain Range, the park is gaining in popularity with each passing year.

As general needs, plans and ideas emerged during the Capital Improvement Plan process earlier this summer, several centered on Morse Park.

Some of the ideas included permanent public bathroom facilities, improved tennis and pickleball courts, additional picnic facilities, a sports field, outdoor stage, and more.

Taking a Step Back to Move Forward:

However, rather than proceed in a haphazard fashion, or negate the importance of past plans that impact Morse Park, the Town-appointed Parks & Recreation Board wanted to take a step back and create a Morse Park Recreation Plan to carry forward for the next ten years. They wanted to make sure the plan had the direct input from residents, stakeholders and of course, visitors. 

They also wanted the plan to place a heavy emphasis on the Town of Lake Lure's Parks, Trails and Open Space Plan, revised in 2014. And finally, they wanted the plan to locate the best place in Morse Park for public restrooms and for those restrooms to be constructed within the next twelve months.

The expedited time frame for the construction of the restrooms is in preparation for the September 2018 World Equestrian Games, said Parks & Recreation Board Chairman, Jim Walters. The games, located less than 20 minutes from Lake Lure, are projected to have a significant impact throughout Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina with over 500,000 visitors over a two week period. 

During its July Town Council Meeting, commissioners voted unanimously to fund a recommendation by the Parks & Recreation Board to create the Morse Park Recreation Plan.They further dedicated $26,800 toward the design and construction of the restrooms.

Because the Morse Park Recreation Plan process will move quickly, the first order of business was to create a survey to gauge how people are currently using the park and how they wish to experience it in the future.  A short, eight-question survey is available for the public to take until 5 pm, August 15th.  Please respond to the survey and then share it with anyone who is interested in providing input on this important and highly valued recreational asset. 


What happens after the Survey Results are Collected:

Following analysis of the survey results, the Parks & Rec Board, staff and the consultants will hold an additional planning session on Aug.23rd to identify site element priorities for Morse Park.

In the fall two concept plans will be presented to the Parks & Recreation Board. Ultimately, the goal is to present a recommended Morse Park Plan to Town Council for review and adoption at its December meeting. 

To fund the identified projects within the Plan, the Town of Lake Lure staff will apply for grants through potential funding agencies where such projects are a good fit.