Destination by Design has been working on the Master Park Plan for Valdese Lakeside Park since Fall 2017. They have taken input from focus group meetings, site visits, the steering committee and the vibe of Valdese.
The plan was revealed Tuesday evening, April 3, to a crowd of about 50 people. Feedback from the group will be used to tweak the plan for a final presentation to town council on May 1st.
The slide presentation from the evening is available for your review.
Arranging all the features requested by the citizens was the magic provided by DbD in their design. The “core” section of the park includes most of the features – which will promote all ages and all interests to start (and interact) in one area. This nucleus will allow visitors to be exposed to activities they may not see otherwise.
- Welcome Area
- Parking Area
- Open Green
- Large Shelter
- Picnic Tables
- Exercise Stations
- Paved Trails
- Pump Track
- Kayak Launch + Pier
- Dog Park
The park is divided into “activity” sections. When talking with friends about the park, this may give you a common language. For example, the greenway is more than just the out and back – a loop (or more of a trail system) is in the works. Outside of the core, there is mountain biking, disc golf, hiking, an overlook…..
You may ask why this and why that…. or why not this and why not that. Facing project limitations was a part of the design process and often the answer to these questions. The town received a grant from the CWMTF to help pay for the land. With that, comes development restrictions around the lake and creek areas. There is an endangered plant that needs to be protected. On a positive, the CWMTF saw the need for lake access and views and set one area that can have structures close to the water. Slopes of 30% or more impacted what could be done. The amount of money available is a factor. This size park will create a repeat draw from the surrounding region – yet, there is a town budget to consider. Lakeside Park will be a passive park (a park focused on natural settings and preserving nature, not manned, not developed with courts and fields).
An economic impact study was also a part of the presentation. You can review the slides to make your own judgement, but a conservative figure is $900K per year of visitor spending in town. Plus all the benefits to those who live here (health and quality of life) and the current businesses (job attraction).
We hope to have these boards on display at Town Hall soon. This will give you more time to review the plan, or see it for the first time. There will also be comment cards for you to complete.
The design is still in your hands with your comments …. do you want scaled down, inexpensive features? Do you want top of the line? Do you want public art? How about an observation tower? Donations are still being accepted!
Feel free to post comments regarding the park under this post (click the facebook icon).