Here's a first look at 6-acre expansion of Cary's Downtown Park opening in 2023

CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Construction is underway on Cary's unique Downtown Park expansion.

The urban park is a $50 million investment funded by bonds and will add another six acres to the existing one-acre park near the iconic water fountain.

"It's kind of a 20-year vision that is now finally coming to light in the planning process for phase two which has really been in planning since 2018," saidJoy Ennis, Downtown Cary Park General Manager.

"We really think it's going to be a regional draw," Ennis added. "It is an urban park we have a lot of parks in our system already here in Cary, but this is very different than anything we have in our portfolio. It's an urban park, and the programming in this park really is going to set it apart."

The expansion will feature a bark bar which is a combination outdoor bar dog park area which Ennis believes is the first of its kind in Wake County. There will also be a children's play area called The Nest.

"We're calling it The Nest because in the nest, we have two cardinals," Ennis said. "It is a mated pair of cardinals, they're 20 feet tall, and the kids can go, and hopefully adults can go in them and look out their eyes and slide out of them."

The park will also feature elevated skywalks, botanical gardens, water features, an area for a market and lots of free programming.

"There'll be about 66,000 different plants that go into the park so it's going to be very green and very lush," Ennis said. "And we're really excited about the programming opportunities and what we can offer. There will be anywhere between 800 to 1,300 events that go on each year here and 98 percent of them are going to be free to the public. They range from lectures to music concerts to knitting circles to just anything you can think of-art classes and fitness classes and yoga at sunset. So, that activation, plus the fact that the park is going to be so unique, and the park is in itself is just the amenity, so people can come and just enjoy the beautiful furniture that we're going to have all around and sit and work and read and just enjoy."

Cary's Downtown Park expansion project is expected to open in the summer of 2023.

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