Coming Soon: Karen Cragnolin Park

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Images designed by Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects

A new 5-acre park will link the French Broad River Park + Carrier Park in 2019. A draft master plan was released last Monday for the new Karen Cragnolin Park, located on Amboy road (across from Eblen Short Stop) beside the French Broad River.

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Images designed by Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects

The land was acquired by RiverLink in 2005, and served as a car junkyard for over 50 years. At the time of purchase, 100,000 tons of concrete covered the area.

Karen Cragnolin, the park’s namesake, served as the Executive Director of RiverLink for 30 years before retiring in 2016. She saw a vision for the junkyard area that most people overlooked – she saw this plot of land as the “missing link” between two existing parks also created by RiverLink: Carrier Park + The French Broad River Park (as part of a17-mile greenway project, known as the Wilma Dykeman Riverway Plan).

While this park is currently an empty plot of land, it soon will be an important part of Asheville’s ecological + recreational footprint. 🏞️Learn about the design team, environmental benefits + recreation additions coming in 2019 here. Plus, let the design team know what you want to see in the new park. ⬇️

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Images designed by Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects

The design team selected to lead the planning process + create the master plan of this new park is Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects (NBW). The site and surrounding landscapes offer a rich geological + cultural history which NBW says they “aim to cultivate and celebrate in the river park’s design.” DYK: The region hosted Native Americans who admired the French Broad River for its natural resources + rich micah offerings.

What do you want to see Tell the team what you’d like to see in the park here. The design team is collecting community input to execute a park with features the community wants.

So far, we know that the park will feature places for recreation + education while showcasing the natural beauty of the French Broad River including hands-on + interactive games, making it an ideal area for school groups, children + anyone in the public who wants to learn about the ecological wonders of our area. Plans also include a pollinator garden that will attract natural butterflies + bees with native flowers. 🐝

The final draft of the plan goes to the RiverLink Board of Directors in December for voting + a funding push, then will be voted on by the first of the year.

Are you excited for the new Karen Cragnolin Park? We certainly are. What better way to use the former car junkyard as a connection link bringing three parks safely together?

What do you want to see go into the the park? Reply to this email or comment on the article here.

–Audra + Kristie (AVLtoday Intern)

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