For a little while, telling local Brunswick County friends to meet you at “Sturgeon Creek Park” will get just a tad confusing.
There is a new park proposed. Land acquired by the Town of Leland off Navassa Road will own the name Sturgeon Creek Park upon its creation. The new park is, after all, located on Sturgeon Creek (unlike the previously named Sturgeon Creek Park, located one mile northwest off Appleton Way). Yet the park locals currently know as Sturgeon Creek Park isn’t going away. In fact, the community renamed it!
“We decided to change the name of Sturgeon Creek Park (SCP) while the Town was pursuing another project along Sturgeon Creek in the Navassa Road area. The new park will be larger and more prominent, so we felt the familiar Sturgeon Creek Park name was more appropriate for it,” said Assistant Town Manager Niel Brooks.
“But more interesting, the original SCP was more than likely not even on Sturgeon Creek. There has been a debate for years over what the name of that part of the creek really is. The U.S. Geological survey shows it as Mill Creek,” he added.
Deciding to rename the older park was a collaboration with the community, the Parks and Recreation Board, and the Leland Town Council. Public input was sought via the Town’s monthly newsletter, press releases, and social media. Town staff handed off submittals to the Parks Board, who in turn submitted names to the Council. The Council whittled down the list to two and put the vote to the public using social media, choosing between Cypress Cove and Bluegill. Voters picked Cypress Cove, which is what the park formerly known as Sturgeon Creek Park will now be called.
This was an experiment for Leland. The Town asked that citizens suggest names that were historically or geographically appropriate to the area. They were anticipating a few “Parky McParkFace” type entries but were pleased to have considerate submissions. Only a couple suggestions were unusual, “Hidden Treasures Cereal Park” and “Caviar Park” (because sturgeon allegedly make good caviar).
The name Cypress Cove Park was a good choice since it reflects the natural environment of the park where healthy pond cypress trees can be found along the upper reaches of Mill Creek. Pond cypress are also depicted on the Leland Town Seal.
Putting in a kayak at Cypress Cove Park, it is a short paddle to a scenic pond cypress canopy. “Going west is a nice calm paddle, it is one of my favorites in the area. There are some great old pond cypress trees… you don’t see them a whole lot,” Brooks said. He explained that saltwater intrusion has killed off a lot of the pond cypress trees but Wikipedia states that pond cypress can live for thousands of years.
The N.C Wildlife Department is working with the Town to plan and install a boat ramp at the new Sturgeon Creek Park. The newly renamed older park, Cypress Cove, also has some enhancements in store. Brooks said the Town of Leland is looking to improve parking and make a new entrance into the park from Village Road that will be more direct.
Whatever name you use, prepare to enjoy all the parks this year in Brunswick County!