In 2006, residents of Wilmington and New Hanover County passed a bond referendum to expand parks, green space, and cultural facilities throughout Wilmington, New Hanover County, and the beach towns. In 2008, the City of Wilmington sought community and citizen input on parks, recreation, and open space needs and priorities. The following master plan goals and objectives were created:
Provide and ensure easily accessible, convenient, and equitably distributed recreation and leisure areas.
Protect the cultural and historical aspects of the region.
Provide safe and secure parks, greenways, open space areas, leisure opportunities, and experiences.
Ensure the protection and conservation of the natural resources and environmental quality in the area.
Of the allocated funds, New Hanover County's Cape Fear Museum was given a portion to create the park.