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PTRF to build camping platforms

Camping platforms on the Pamlico-Tar River and near Washington may be available soon for canoers, kayakers and others.
During its meeting Monday, the Washington City Council is slated to hear Richard Andrews discuss the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation’s project to erect camping platforms along the Pamlico-Tar River. PTRF’s goal, according to its website, is to build a continuous system of platforms from eight to 15 miles apart, spanning from the river’s headwaters in Granville County to the estuarine waters of the Pamlico Sound in Beaufort, Hyde and Pamlico counties. Some of the platforms have been built, while others await construction.
PTRF plans to ask the city for permission to build such platforms among waterfront property the city owns on the south side of the Tar River and southwest of the southern foot of the U.S. Business 17 bridge, where plans call for building a nature park, according to PTRF spokeswoman Heather Jacobs Deck. The river west of the bridge is called the Tar River. The river east of the bridge is named the Pamlico River.
If and when the city builds the nature park, the platforms built by PTRF would be taken over by the city, Deck said.
PTRF is building its Dawson platform on land provided by Lee Dawson of Washington. The platform would be located a few miles upstream of the confluences of Tranter’s Creek and Bear Creek with the Tar River. The platform would be nestled under tall cypress trees, with the nearest put-in (pay ramp) at the Davenport Farm at Pactolus. The closest take-out sites would be the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission ramp at Mason’s Landing on Tranter’s Creek and downtown Washington, according to the PTRF website.
“It’s under construction as we speak. Hopefully, it will be done within the next two weeks,” Deck said.
The proposed platform would be 32 feet by 16 feet, with half of it enclosed with a roof and screened-in area to provide protection from rain and insects.
“This really started about a little over a year ago. It’s been an idea in the works before that,” Deck said Friday.
Deck said PTRF was influenced by similar camping platforms built on the Roanoke River, “a very successful model.”
The platforms will rent for a maximum of $15 a person per night, with a maximum of six people sharing a platform, Deck said. Discounts are possible, depending upon the number of campers using a platform, Deck said.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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