Harborside Park brings big changes to Carteret County


BEAUFORT, Carteret County - A small lot of land once known as a town eyesore is now being recognized as one of Carteret County's most beautiful spots thanks to a $400,000 update.

The large sum of money pumped into creating Harborside Park was funded completely through donations. A total of 120 donations that ranged from $15 to $100,000 were gathered from people who wanted to see the park succeed.

"It feels great," Maritime Museum Curator Paul Fontenoy said of the park. "It's the most, actually exceeding expectations."

Fontenoy was in on the Harborside Park update from the beginning. He couldn't help but marvel at the now completed project.

"It's been a hole literally for 20 years," Fontenoy said. "One of the big challenges has always been 'well, what can we do with it?'"

When the concept of a park came into focus, Fontenoy said he feared more than once that the dream would never become reality. He said that the project faced challenges from the beginning.

"The best part about it in a lot of ways is not really the organized components like the events that have happened here and so on, it's the way people just -- they bring their sandwiches and have lunch here," Fontenoy said.

The once small plot of land is already bringing big changes to Carteret County. Harborside Park is going to be used as a platform for many museum educational programs.

"There isn't really anywhere else like it in town and it's changed the way that people look at the town as well," Fontenoy said.