The Town of Dayton, with a population of a little over 1,500 in 2013*, is one of the oldest settled communities in Rockingham County**. Formed in 1778 from Augusta County, Rockingham County is bounded on the west by the Allegheny Mountains and on the east by the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Dayton, possesses small-town charm. A large portion of the land surrounding the town limits is agriculture maintained by a combination of Plain People, various sects of Mennonite groups, and conventional farmers. The largest employer in the county is James Madison University, located a short distance down VA State Route 42 in Harrisonburg, which serves as the county seat of Rockingham County.
The Town of Dayton sought to develop a conceptual master plan for a multi-use greenway that traverses through a variety of areas in Dayton and connect various community assets throughout town and within the downtown district to Silver Lake.
Different segments of the proposed greenway possess a distinct character. The character identified in each of the greenway’s segment was influenced by the history, context, and peculiarities within Dayton.
Additional proposed greenway ammeninties include: small pockets of playground equipment along the trail; landscaping where appropriate; benches; labelled trees where appropriate for educational purposes; outdoor sculptures and murals; and character fencing in some areas, and way-finding signage.
The Town desired broad community participation in the design process. The Dayton Town Council and a local citizens group, Imagine Dayton, were integrally involved throughout the process. The Community Design Assistance Center (CDAC) also worked with additional stakeholders and community members to develop a conceptual master plan for the greenway and supporting focus area designs.
Project team: Melissa Philen and Elena Alves
* City-data.com; 10/23/15.