City Park Improvements
Some exciting improvements are underway at City Park including the Carousel restoration, a new carousel house, Little Alamance Creek streambank restoration, targeted tree removal, new restrooms, and a new stormwater bio-retention basin!
City Parks Carousel was hand-carved by the Dentzel Carousel Company over 100 years ago. It was previously restored by a group of dedicated community members in the 1980s. After another 35 years of rides, this piece of art in motion requires complete refurbishment and restoration of both its artistic and mechanical elements. Carousels & Carvings, Inc. of Marion, Ohio is restoring and repainting our menagerie of carousel animals, repairing and fabricating new mechanisms, upgrading our drive unit, and adding an ADA-accessible chariot and ramp. The painstaking, two-year process will ensure that our beautiful carousel will be around for generations to come.
Brand New Carousel House
A new Carousel House is under construction for the Carousel’s return. The Carousel House will be open-air in the warmer months and enclosed by glass during cold weather allowing the Carousel to operate year-round. An attached event space with restrooms and a catering staging area will be available to rent. There will be viewing windows between the event space and the Carousel for guests to enjoy.
The Carousel House is situated on higher ground closer to Main St. This keeps the Carousel out of the creek floodplain and places it at grade level with the parking lot, improving ADA accessibility. The original Carousel House will stay where it is and be repurposed for another use.
Little Alamance Creek Streambank Restoration
Like the Carousel, the riparian buffer of Little Alamance Creek is in need of a restoration. For an urban park setting like City Park, a well-managed riparian buffer is vital to both the ecological health of the creek and for promoting public safety throughout the park. The goal of the Little Alamance Creek Streambank Restoration is a riparian buffer free of the invasive species that crowd out the native plants beneficial to stream health as well as undergrowth managed to provide clear sightlines for public safety. The restoration will be conducted in a phased approach. In Phase 1, dead and diseased trees will be removed from the buffer. Phase 2 will be the removal of the invasive and undesirable plant species which are largely responsible for impaired sightlines. Phase 3 will be an ongoing effort to control invasive vegetation, to promote the growth of appropriate native plants, and to maintain of clearer sightlines.
Targeted Tree Removal
Sections of City Park are so thick with trees that the ground is bare dirt and sightlines are obstructed. During the spring of 2021, targeted tree removal will improve line of sight for public safety considerations and to encourage grass growth. The trees were professionally-assessed and selected for removal because either they are dead, in poor health, leaning, over-crowded, or blocking safety sightlines. When works is under way, crews will block off sections of the park for safety purposes. Click here to see a larger map of tree removals outside the creek's riparian buffer. Click here to see a larger map of tree removals within the riparian buffer.
Brand new Homebuilder’s Restroom Building
Since we haven’t had any of our big events in City Park in 2020, you may not have noticed that there is a brand new restroom near the Homebuilders Shelter and Field #1. Funded by a federal Community Development Block Grant, the bathroom has three toilets and two sinks in the women’s room, one toilet and two urinals in the men’s room, and two water fountains along the exterior. It replaces the old, outdated, non-ADA compliant restroom that served the community for many, many, many years and had definitely seen better days.
New Stormwater Bio-retenTion Basin
The City’s Stormwater team is partnering with NC State University and North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s 319 Grant Program to install a new bio-retention basin next to the Splash Pad to capture stormwater runoff from nearby parking lots before it enters Little Alamance Creek. A bio-retention basin, like a rain garden, is a shallow, landscaped depression designed to capture, store, and treat a rainwater runoff. Bio-retention basins treat water physically, chemically, and biologically by capturing sediment, nutrients, heavy metals, bacteria, oil, grease, and other pollutants found in urban runoff. The bio-retention basin being installed at City Park will be planted with native, deep-rooted plants to aid in the pollutant filtration and uptake process.