August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 35

Unity Park boasts four state-of-the-art
playgrounds, which were designed for
children of all ages and abilities.
way of the park's development.
Meanwhile, the city wasn't the
only one buying property. " Even
before there was an approved park
plan, people began buying property
along the edge of the park site, "
says Mayor White.
In 2016, in response to increasing
development interest and concerns
about gentrification, the city
established the Reedy River
Redevelopment Area, which
included the park site, as well as
surrounding areas. Consulting
firm MKSK was hired to design
a signature park, complemented
by an affordable housing strategy
and form-based code to guide
future development. The city also
established a citizen advisory
committee to help guide the project.
The city again engaged the residents
of the surrounding neighborhoods,
who worked closely with
the project team over the next three
years to develop the master plan for
the park. Mary Duckett, another
longtime resident and president of
the Southernside neighborhood association,
smiles when she describes
students from AJ Whittenberg Elementary
and St. Anthony Catholic
School drawing what they wanted
to see in the new park.
" They were so smart and kept
building on each other's ideas for
what they wanted to see in the
park, " says Duckett. " That's one of
the reasons why my favorite part of
the park is the playground area. "
During this time, local entrepreneurs
purchased and began renovating
a row of dilapidated warehouses
that sat in the middle of the park site.
The 90,000-square-foot development,
called The Commons - which features
a food hall, brewery, shops and
offices - opened shortly before park
construction began in 2020.
The $66 million park budget included
planning, design, property
acquisition, construction and utility
undergrounding. It was funded
through hospitality taxes, utility
undergrounding funds and stormwater
funds. The city also hired a
local public relations firm to oversee
corporate and private fundraising
efforts, which resulted in more than
$12 million in private donations.
" When a promising vision is put
forward, we are fortunate to have
local leaders that will unite behind
goals that serve the common good, "
says White. " There is a certain pride
in the fact that a community of this
size has been able to accomplish so
much in Greenville. "
Phase One
The first phase of the project
involved restoration of the
halfmile
section of the Reedy River that
bisects the park. New, gently-sloping
riverbanks were created to enhance
water quality, reduce erosion and
mitigate the potential for flooding
- a persistent issue for decades
in this area. Additionally, native
understory plants and trees were
added to help stabilize the banks,
filter sediment and pollutants, and
provide wildlife habitat.
Though some strategic tree removal
was necessary, it was offset
by the addition of nearly 750
trees planted throughout the park
to re-establish the tree canopy and
provide habitat, shade and visual
interest.
According to Waters, to complement
this strategic work, tons of
dirt were removed from the park
site and replaced with soil containing
a higher percentage of sand
to encourage drainage. Bioswales
installed in the large parking area
also help capture runoff. " It's what
PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G | A UGUS T 2 0 22 | Parks & Recreation
35

August 2022 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of August 2022 - Parks & Recreation

August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 1
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 2
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 3
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 4
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 5
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 6
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 7
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 8
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 8a
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 8b
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 9
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 10
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 11
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 12
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 13
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 14
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 15
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 16
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 17
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 18
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 19
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 20
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 21
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 22
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 23
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 24
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 25
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 26
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 27
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 28
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 29
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 30
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 31
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 32
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 33
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 34
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 35
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 36
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 37
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 38
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 39
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 40
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 41
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 42
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 43
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 44
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 45
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 46
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 47
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 48
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 49
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 50
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 51
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 52
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 53
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 54
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 55
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 56
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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