Mathews board declines to take stand on future of park

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Jul 25, 2012 - 01:26 PM
The Mathews Board of Supervisors chose not to take any action Tuesday on a request for guidance by Middle Peninsula Chesapeake Bay Public Access Authority director Lewie Lawrence.
Lawrence, who is also the director of the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission, explained to the board that the PAA, which was created through legislation introduced by former Delegate Harvey Morgan, has received a National Park Service grant to develop a management plan for Heritage Park, a property on Billups Creek in Moon.
The nine-acre wooded parcel, on which there’s a 1910 farmhouse in disrepair, was donated to the PAA two years ago by Conrad Hall of Norfolk. His intent was that the land be used as a nature park and waterfront center where Mathews residents and visitors could be taught traditional water trades and crafts and learn about the history and ecology of the county.
“It’s a unique donation,” said Lawrence. “You don’t often find private citizens who want to donate land for public benefit.”
Lawrence said he asked the National Park Service for advice on managing the property, and the grant awarded the PAA will pay for a consultant to help with the management plan. However, he said he needed some direction about whether the board is committed to proceeding with a plan before an upcoming meeting with the consultant and stakeholders.