By Emma Castleberry
The Town of Woodfin has taken a major step in the Woodfin Greenway & Blueway project by awarding a design contract to landscape architecture firm Equinox Environmental. “We saw an amazing opportunity to be part of something special with the development of outdoor recreation in Woodfin and a system of connected parks, including Silver-Line Park and Riverside Park, via a greenway,” says David Tuch, president and landscape architect at Equinox Environmental. “We believe in the benefit of also connecting to the Asheville greenway system and the larger county area for long-term economic benefits to the community from recreational use and we wanted to be part of this transformational project.”
The Woodfin Greenway & Blueway project will create five miles of new greenway along the French Broad River and Beaverdam Creek, as well as the new Silver-Line Park. It also includes a redesign of the existing Riverside Park and the creation of the Woodfin Whitewater Wave, a ledge feature made of natural rock and concrete installed in the riverbed to offer a whitewater experience to paddlers of all ability levels. The project is a partnership between the Town of Woodfin, RiverLink, Buncombe County and the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority. A recently formed Woodfin Parks & Greenways Advisory Committee will also provide project oversight and support outreach efforts. “To think that the riverfront was once a dumping ground is a staggering thought today,” says Eric Hardy, Woodfin town administrator.
“Collectively, these parks, greenways and wave flip the script entirely, refocusing our attention on this amazing waterway. The community’s commitment to the Greenway & Blueway project will benefit Woodfin and Buncombe County residents, as well as our guests, for generations.”
As the lead design contractor and the primary point of contact for the project, Equinox Environmental will create design documents for the Woodfin Whitewater Wave and the Riverside Park expansion. They will work with a number of subcontractors, including S2o Design & Engineering, Vaughn & Melton, Samsel Architects, ECS and Kee Mapping & Surveying. The process will take around 10 months and is expected to cost $719,120.
“The chance to work on a park that tells the story of the French Broad River through design and connects people to the river and the wave is a perfect fit for what we do at Equinox,” says Tuch. “This park is going to be for the entire community to enjoy and will also attract people from all over who will be specially coming for the Wave at Riverside Park. When this happens it will truly be an exciting thing to see.”
For more information and find out how you can get involved, visit RiverLink.org/woodfin-greenway.