Blowing Rock, NC: American Legion Site Conceptual Design

From the unmatched, far-reaching views along the Blue Ridge Parkway, to the quaint storybook mountain village, Blowing Rock, North Carolina is truly deserving of the title: “Crown of the Blue Ridge.” Blowing Rock is also very well known for its numerous parks including Memorial Park, Broyhill Park, Annie Cannon Memorial Gardens and the Glen Burney Trail.

The popularity of these parks has increased over the years and thoroughfares are being utilized more and more. There are several on-going initiatives to increase visitation and use of Broyhill Park. The current uses and projected increased visitation to Broyhill Park and downtown areas suggests that the Town consider improvements to the site as a key pedestrian corridor in the community. If fact, the most used pedestrian thoroughfares in town are the paths that connect Broyhill Park and adjacent parks with the downtown area.

There are two sets of stairs that have worn down over the years, becoming dangerous for visitors. These stairs have also been negatively affected by an erosion problem. Heavy silt deposits generated by the adverse erosion conditions are affecting Mayview Lake, which is fed by a North Carolina Trout Headwater. The erosion issue has led to the need of dredging Mayview Lake on a more frequent basis than normal and has begun to wash out portions of the stairs. The deteriorated state of the stairs has led, in part, to the creation of informal trails in less stable areas that add additional concern about safety and excessive erosion on the site.

CDAC is worked with a group of stakeholders to determine ways that the American Legion site can serve and function as a connector between popular destinations in a way that is safe for citizens and visitors. Suggested site improvements seek to remediate the negative impacts that poorly managed runoff has imposed on wildlife inhabiting Mayview Lake. A proposed tree replacement plan also offers both aesthetic improvements and run-off abatement. In addition, the final site master plan creates places for picnicking and public open spaces; walking routes/trail, additional low-maintenance plantings, and signage.

Project team: Elizabeth Gilboy, Nick Proctor, Alex Jones and Nik Henry

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