NHCGov: Parks & Gardens Newsletter

New Hanover County
Parks & Gardens News


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Kids to Parks Day

May 15th is Kids to Parks Day- a national day of outdoor play celebrated annually on the third Saturday in May.  The day promotes discovery and exploration in the great outdoors in our local, state and national parks.  On May 15th, we encourage you to get outdoors and explore your county parks!  New Hanover County has some fun self-guided educational activities for kids and families to do in our parks such as:

  • Geocaching
  • Kids in Parks TRACK Trail
  • StoryWalks
  • Parks Stars Youth Program

Learn about these programs and more at Parks.NHCgov.com/Programs.  



Heart Pumping Tennis

Are you looking to get active, meet new people and improve your tennis skills?  You're in luck- Heart Pumping Tennis returns to Echo Farms on Monday, May 10 from 7-8pm!  This weekly high energy, full body workout costs just $10/person and is appropriate for all skill levels.  Learn more and register at Parks.NHCgov.com/EchoFarms.  


Environmental Education

Butterfly House

Butterfly House
Airlie Gardens is gearing up for the opening of the seasonal Butterfly House, tentatively scheduled for mid-May.  The 2,700-square-foot open-air structure houses native North Carolina butterflies such as the Monarch, Gulf Fritillary, Common Buckeye, Black Swallowtail and MORE!  Entry to the Butterfly House is included in garden admission.  More Information

frog watch

Virtual Frog Watch
Become a volunteer for FrogWatch USA!  Join NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher and Airlie Gardens via Zoom on May 12 & 13th to learn about amphibians and the conservation issues they face, while knowing how to recognize the unique calls of local species.  This training workshop is family friendly and does not require previous knowledge.  Participants must attend both 3-hour Zoom sessions from 6-9pm on May 12 & 13th.  More Information



May is National Bike Month

Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling, and encourage more folks to give cycling a try.  Whether you're riding for fun, fitness or with family, or taking essential trips to work, school or shop, there's plenty of places for you to ride.  Trails inside our county parks include:

  • Blue Clay Bike Park (off-road/natural trails)
  • Long Leaf, Ogden & Smith Creek Parks (paved)

There are also greenways and multiuse paths around the region that serve as great connections to shopping, schools, parks and more.  Click here to view the Wilmington Area "Bike There" Map for a map of trails and bikeable destinations.

New Hanover County Parks & Gardens strives to maintain and operate parks and facilities that enrich the lives of the community and promote an overall healthier lifestyle.

Events Calendar

May 6, 13, 20, 27:  6-7pm
Yoga in the Gardens
Airlie Gardens
Pre-registration Required

May 12:  8-9:30am
Bird Hike
Airlie Gardens

May 12-13:  6-9pm
Virtual Frog Watch
Virtual via Zoom
Pre-registration Required

May 19:  8-9:30m
Bird Hike
Airlie Gardens
Advance Tickets ONLY


Airlie Gardens

Open Mon-Sun: 9am-5pm
Last admission is 4:30pm

*Advance tickets are required for admission.  Purchase tickets at AirlieGardens.org.

Volunteer Opportunities

Trash Mob
Wed, May 19
North College Road

Learn more at



Click here for Online Picnic Shelter Reservations

Coronavirus Information

The outdoor gathering limit has been increased to 200 people, as long as 6 feet of social distance can be maintained.  Face coverings are no longer required when outdoors, however, park visitors should maintain 6 feet of distance from others.  Masks are required inside county facilities.  Visit Parks.NHCgov.com/COVID19 for more information.


New Hanover County Parks & Gardens

896 Airlie Road
Wilmington, NC  28403

Driving Directions

(910) 798-7620 phone