Park and Learn comes to Columbus

The iconic wicker bear at the Museum of Natural Sciences in Whiteville.

With remote learning becoming the standard for education in the pandemic, state officials have established new opportunities for children who lack internet access.

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is working to bring WiFi to rural communities with the “Park and Learn” project. State parks along with historic sites are being utilized as WiFi hotspots across the state. 

All of the counties in the Cape Fear Region have some sort of free WiFi with locations in Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover, and Pender Counties. In Columbus, Park and Learn spots are running at all three county high schools, Williams Township Elementary, Columbus College and Career Academy and Campus, Fair Bluff Town Hall, Acme-Delco Elementary and the Riegelwood library, Southeastern Community College and the Museum of Natural Sciences. 

“The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is setting up hotspots resources at state parks, historic sites and other community hubs to expand  remote learning opportunities for students across North Carolina.  Part of a broader effort called NC Student Connect, Park and Learn will provide free high-speed WiFi access to students in rural communities, according to the NC DNCR. 

More than 200 Park and Learn locations across the state and is being funded by the CARES Act. 

The Park and Learn project has installed WiFi hotspots at more than 200 sites across the state. When completed, it will bring WiFi access to more than 350 locations, including state parks and historic sites, along with libraries and schools. In addition, the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources has purchased more than 84,000 hotspots and distributed them to about 200 school systems or charter schools, according to the state. 

The cost of the project is $6.1 million provided by federal grant funding that expires tomorrow.

  • Crystal Faircloth

    Crystal Faircloth • Photographs

    Have you ever found yourself cleaning out the closet and happen upon a box of old pictures you forgot you had? Your hand grazes the dust to find those ancient treasures from long ago that [Read More]
  • Front Page

    Boating Safety Encouraged

    National Safe Boating Week, as proclaimed by Governor Roy Cooper, is May 21 – 27 and officials with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission say that safety should be a top priority when recreating on water. The agency [Read More]
  • The group creating the city's flood print iwill return to downtown Whiteville Thursday. (WDDC graphic)
    Front Page

    Flood Study Group Returns Thursday

    See related story here: Whiteville Downtown Development announced today that the NCSU Coastal Dynamics Design Lab (CDDL) will be back in the city Thursday as part of the ongoing flood print study. On this [Read More]
  • Florence rain
    Front Page

    Hurricane Season Expected to be Busy

    Related story: Flood Study Group Returns Thursday Hurricane season officially begins June 1, and federal weather forecasters are calling for the seventh busy season in a row. There’s a 65 percent chance of an above [Read More]
  • James Edward Coleman

    James Edward Coleman

    James Edward Coleman, age 76, of Chadbourn, NC, died Monday, May 23, 2022 in the Regency Hospital of Florence.  Born June 26, 1945, he was the son of the late T.C. Coleman and Nola Bell [Read More]
About Jefferson Weaver 1143 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the managing editor of and news director for WTXY radio. He can be reached at 910.632.4965, or by email at