Pritchard Park, downtown Asheville’s triangle-shaped park at Patton and College avenues and Haywood Street, will get some freshening up in coming months.
The City is gearing up for improvements to the park’s landscape and lighting, primarily. For now, there won’t be changes to the hardscape, the walkways or seating areas.
Since the park was installed 15 years ago the landscape, including the trees, have grown up. Some of the original landscape has been trampled and is no longer in place.
“Due to the aging out of the light fixtures and the aging out of the trees the park is not as illuminated as an urban park needs to be,” said Al Kopf, planning and development superintendent for Asheville’s Parks & Recreation Department. “We’re looking at replacing the fixtures within the park. And trimming back the trees.”
The water feature was recently repaired and will remain in place.
The City will add irrigation and protective ornamental fencing to the newly landscaped areas once they are completed to protect the new elements and help them flourish.
The upgrades will take place this fall through spring. First up will be thinning of smaller-diameter trees and some surveying of the property this fall. City staff will work on the design over winter. In 2016 look for installation of the irrigation system, lighting and ornamental fences for new landscape beds. A drinking fountain, the new landscape and new signage will be installed come spring.
“We’re not redesigning the park,” said Parks & Rec Director Roderick Simmons. “We refer to it as deferred maintenance, addressing things that need to be repaired to maximize accessibility and safety for a quality guest experience.”
The upgrades should address visibility issues within the park. The fencing will designate landscaped beds so people don’t intrude into those areas.
In the meantime, the City is going to thin the urban forest as it prepares to improve the lighting and add ornamental plantings to make the park enjoyable for everyone.