Whitehall Comes to Life with Your Voice
The Town of Southern Pines acquired the 157-acre tract of land, known as the Whitehall property, in December 2020. The property is located at 490 Pee Dee Road. Reservoir Park directly abuts the Whitehall property to the north and includes access via an existing 2-mile walking/biking trail. There are also trail connections from Elizabeth Rounds playground.
Whitehall has been thoughtfully cared for by its previous owners and the property offers 157 acres of natural lands that highlight the native ecosystems of Southern Pines. Whitehall is home to the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker and the property is registered with the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Safe Harbor program which helps conserve their native habitats. The property is also part of the Southeast Longleaf Pine Ecosystem Occurrences Geodatabase (LEO), a comprehensive database of longleaf pine forests to inform conservation and restoration planning.
The Three Rivers Land Trust holds a conservation easement on 66.39 of the total 157 acres. This is a voluntary, legal action that protects the land’s conservation values to ensure that future generations can enjoy it for many years to come. The conservation easement on Whitehall permits the Town to open the property to the public, provided any changes are sensitive to the efforts that have been undertaken to protect this property.
In June 2022, the Town hired two firms to prepare a master plan to open Whitehall as a community park. CPL is guiding the site planning, landscape architecture, and public input processes, while Creech & Associates is providing architectural services. Over the next several months, the Town will be seeking feedback from the community on how to use this property with the goal that the resulting master plan should be creative, feasible, sustainable and thoughtful, highlighting the unique environmental qualities of this special property.
The Town will host a public input meeting on Tuesday, August 23, 2022 at 6pm to share more information on the property and goals and to receive ideas and feedback from the community. Additionally, an online survey will be launched soon as another source of ideas and feedback. All of this input received will help the designers create different concept plans to present to the community in the near future for consideration.
We hope you'll join us in these important efforts to bring Whitehall to life! Southern Pines owes gratitude to Whitehall's previous owners for preserving this important piece of property and to the Town Council for taking action when the opportunity to acquire Whitehall arose. It is up to the community now to help plan for and continue caring for Whitehall so that it can be enjoyed for future generations.