Whitehall at Reservoir Park
The Town of Southern Pines bought the 157-acre tract of land, known as the Whitehall property, in December 2020. The Town paid $1.65 million for the property located at 490 Pee Dee Road. Reservoir Park directly abuts Whitehall to the north and includes access via an existing 2-mile walking/biking trail. There are also trail connections from Elizabeth Rounds playground.
Whitehall makes up almost half of the 326-acre Reservoir Park, a true gem in the Sandhills. A 95-acre lake and permanently protected longleaf pine stands and habitats for the endangered red cockaded woodpecker showcase the park's natural beauty. Passive recreation activities include an 18-acre disc golf course, Elizabeth Rounds playground, and exercise stations. Over 2 acres of trails connect to the Southern Pines greenway network.
Once Whitehall is fully enhanced, an additional 5 miles of trails will be added. Whitehall is open to the community today and visitors can enjoy unimproved trails, longleaf pines, and open fields for picnics, kite flying, and play.
The Town offers recreation & library programs in the Whitehall house and plans to renovate the carriage house for additional programming, private rental space, and to serve as a visitor entry to the overall park.
Reservoir Park is the biggest park in Moore County, the largest municipal-owned park south of the Triangle, and the 4th largest municipal-owned park in North Carolina.
WHITEHALL MASTER PLAN
WHITEHALL MASTER PLAN PROCESS
In 2022, the Town partnered with two firms to prepare a master plan to enhance Whitehall as a community park for passive recreation. CPL is a multi-disciplinary firm who led the site planning, landscape architecture, and public input processes. Creech & Associates developed architectural concepts for the home, barn, and carriage house.
The Southern Pines community partnered with the Town and design team, providing invaluable over 9 months. We had active participation from over 100 community members during three public meetings. We heard feedback from 800 individuals through online surveys, plus many e-mails and phone calls. We received guidance from experts on the longleaf forest, the red cockaded woodpeckers, and the role recreation that passive recreation provides in Moore County. The Three Rivers Land Trust, which holds a conservation easement on about 40% of Whitehall, has provided their nod of approval. All of this feedback and community support has been instrumental in developing a thoughtful master plan that truly reflects the needs and desires of Southern Pines.
After nearly a year of work and community engagement, the Town Council unanimously approved the master plan on May 9, 2023. The Town will continue on developing construction documents for phase 1 during 2023-2024 and carrying out the land management practices to ensure the longleaf pines and red cockaded woodpeckers thrive in their natural habitat. Stay tuned for future updates as we continue to enhance the Whitehall tract for publicly accessible passive recreation while carefully balancing the preservation of the site's natural resources.