Those walking the John Nesbitt Loop in Wrightsville Beach have noticed the absence of the drinking fountain at the Harbor Way Garden entrance, but in the coming weeks the Wrightsville Beach Foundation will fill the void with a sculpted refillable water station.
The station, which will dispense filtered water, will be handicap accessible and include a dog bowl. It will also feature a beach-themed sculptural element created by local metals artist Dumay Gorham. The foundation will install a similar water station by the basketball court in Wrightsville Beach Park.
The fountains were expensive, foundation member Linda Brown admitted, so to lower the cost they allowed businesses or residents to sponsor each of the stainless steel fish Gorham sculpted to decorate the fountain. The fish are currently being engraved with sponsor names, Brown said, but she estimated the fountains should be installed by the end of June.
The foundation has been planning and working on the project for more than a year. Brown said it took longer than expected because the fountains had to be built, but she said it was worth the extra time.
“Dumay is a very talented guy, so just to be able to work with him and put this at our beach is pretty cool,” she said, adding that the foundation is also proud of the environmental aspect.
“The eco-friendly part of it is the best part, that was why we chose to do this,” she said.
The Wrightsville Beach Foundation is splitting its efforts between several other initiatives this summer. It funded beach volleyball nets, which Brown said should be installed soon on the north and south end of the beach strand. The nets, which include 4-foot by 4-foot posts, will go at Public Beach Access No. 4 and at the widest point of the island’s southern tip.
The foundation is also working to make the island more bike-friendly. It offered to fund bike racks, Brown said, but it is waiting on direction from the town as to where the racks are most needed. Additionally, foundation members hand out free bike lights every Monday at the town’s farmers market.
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