Holly Springs to test farm-park plans

akenney@newsobserver.comAugust 1, 2013 

  • If you go

    The town of Holly Springs will present three visions of Sugg Farm Park to the public from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the W.E. Hunt Recreation Center, 301 Stinson Ave. To learn more, go to www.suggfarm.com.

— The town is airing plans for a new farm-style park that will double the size of the natural recreation area around Bass Lake

Three conceptual plans for the Sugg Farm Park will be on display from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the W.E. Hunt Recreation Center.

Town leaders agreed last year to purchase the late Jefferson Sugg’s 116-acre ranch, which sits in the middle of an increasingly suburban area.

For Sugg, a pioneering developer in Cary, it was a place to escape the suburbs and indulge his obsession with the West, even placing a steer skull atop an imposing entrance gate.

A “conservation easement,” created by Sugg before his death in 2010, severely limits development on the property he treasured.

Much of the property’s more-esoteric Western decorations were sold off at auction, but what remains are hilly forests and huge pastures that once housed a herd of longhorn steer.

The town bought the land for about $1 million at the end of last year, and since then has partnered with a consultant to sketch plans for the property, which includes about 58 acres of pasture.

The rules governing the property allow “non-intensive outdoor recreation,” such as hiking, mountain biking, camping, horseback riding, hunting and fishing.

It’s not clear yet just how many of those activities the town will allow, or how much it will change the property, but the plans to be discussed Wednesday may reveal more details.

The plan could include construction of trails, a new forested buffer along the property’s entrance, viewing areas over Bass Lake and a disc golf course.

The town also must decide how many of the six barns, two houses and miscellaneous other buildings it will preserve. When complete, the park will combine with Bass Lake Park to form one of the area’s largest protected natural spreads.

Planning will continue through October, when the Holly Springs Town Council is expected to review a final master plan for the project.

 

Kenney: 919-460-2608; Twitter: @KenneyOnCary

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