Cary, NC – At the June 27, 2019 Cary Town Council meeting, the master plan for two new parks in western Cary, each with their own distinguishing features. Get the details on what these parks will include and why they will look the way they do.
The two planned parks, each roughly 20 acres, are at the corner of Green Level Church Road and McCrimmon Parkway and the corner of Carpenter Fire Station Road and Highcroft Drive, each with their own features based on their locations and needs.
“We like all our parks to be memorable,” said Amy Mackintosh, landscape architect with the Town of Cary.
These parks will have official names in the future, to be decided by Town Council. The tentatively-known McCrimmon Parkway park has much different natural features than its Carpenter Fire Station Road counterpart.
“It has streams running diagonally and to the South, as well as thick woods and more hills,” Mackintosh said. “That has an impact on the choices of facilities and the character of the park.”
Because of this, many of the parks natural features are not only being preserved but also emphasized. McCrimmon Parkway will feature a 0.75-mile looping trail, with a hanging bridge to go through the woods and over the hilly terrain. Mackintosh said the park’s playground will also incorporate natural elements and take design inspiration from trees and other naturally occurring features.
The McCrimmon Parkway park is also near age-restricted communities so Mackintosh said this park will have features to appeal to seniors.
“There will be a community garden, a small lawn and trails,” Mackintosh said. “There will also be facilities for pickleball and tennis. Pickleball is popular with everyone but it’s particularly popular among older people.”
Pickleball and tennis are also a good fit given the topography, Mackintosh said, because they have a smaller footprint and can fit in the even terrain spots.
This park is not solely designed with seniors in mind, as the northwest corner will feature a teenager-focused area, with walkability access and public art structures.
Carpenter Fire Station Road
The other West Cary park is less restrictive topographically, Mackintosh said, and because this site was farmed relatively recently, the woods here are much smaller and younger so fewer of them need to be preserved. However, the woods on the south side will be preserved and there will also be an overlook included.
“Because of the landscape, we saw this as an opportunity for larger scale athletic activities,” Mackintosh said. “There’s a need for baseball parks in western Cary.”
In addition to two baseball fields, there will be multi-sport courts, a skate park and a large lawn in the center of the park.
“It’s not a dedicated sports field so the lawn can be used for free play,” Mackintosh said.
Other features include a fitness hub with a number of different exercise uses, a dog park, a misting feature and part of Panther Creek Greenway will run through the park and connect, giving visitors a large trail to use.
Mackintosh also said concerns from the surrounding neighborhood about cars and light pollution will be met with a buffer.
“We will have a large buffer, both planted and natural plants, along Highcroft Drive to block the lights,” Mackintosh said.
The construction of both parks is contingent upon the 2019 bond referendum passing, which will contain $112 million for parks in Cary. If the bonds pass, construction would start in 2021 and take 18 months to complete.
Story by Michael Papich. Photos courtesy of the Town of Cary.