Shaping Communities by Creating Dynamic Outdoor Spaces: McGill Encourages You to Get Outside More in 2023
Oftentimes, the beginning of a new year is a fantastic time for people to get off to a good start and prioritize their physical and mental health, and what better way to go about doing that than by getting outside more?
While it may be the start of a new year — our land planning and recreation team has been working for many years behind the scenes to make sure that when you choose to get outside in 2023, you have beautiful and functional spaces to go to.
SHAPING HEALTHY AND ACTIVE COMMUNITIES WITH OUTDOOR SPACES
From urban design and city streetscapes to parks and greenway trails, the overall health of a community is at the heart of each project we undertake, because it is evident that citizens and businesses thrive when health is made a priority.
PARKS AND RECREATION
At McGill, we understand that community parks function as centers of communities, connecting land, rivers, and people in the places where they live and work. We aspire to build sustainable and functional recreation designs that enhance the holistic growth and well-being of both the individual user and the community as a whole.
If you are a fan of the beach, Ocean Isle Beach Town Center Park in the Town of Ocean Isle Beach is the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors. McGill created multiple design alternatives for the 1.7-acre Ocean Isle Beach Town Center Park, as part of its master plan design phase in 2017.
Key amenities include a stage venue for concerts, festivals, and movies in the park; interactive fountain; arbor shade structures with benches and bench swings; restroom facility; playground area; walking path; fitness station; bike racks; bocce court; and drive and parking improvements, including electric vehicle stations.
If you are more of a mountain person, check out Rocky Face Park in Alexander County for an incredible park that places a high value on nature. Located in northern Alexander County, Rocky Face Mountain Recreation Area was the site of a former rock quarry. The 330-acre passive park is primarily undeveloped and considered environmentally significant with a numerous rare species of flora and fauna.
The park includes a community building, picnic areas, rock climbing, camping, miles of hiking trails, outdoor classroom, a children’s adventure playground, wetlands with boardwalks, wetland restoration area, two wildlife observation decks, and an outdoor amphitheater. Educational signage was added to identify unique habitats and plant species along portions of the surrounding nature trails. Due to the unique setting and variety of recreational amenities offered — such as hiking, rock climbing, educational programs, and annual festivals — this facility has developed into a regional attraction for outdoor enthusiasts.
GREENWAYS AND TRAILS
We value and understand the impact trails have on communities by creating connections, encouraging physical activity, strengthening local economies, protecting the environment, and preserving cultural and historical areas.
Pinehurst, North Carolina is home to a wonderful greenway trail system and thanks to McGill, parking and accessing the trails is easier than ever before. We assisted the Village of Pinehurst with the design, bidding, and construction administration of this trailhead parking lot.
It is an 8-space parking lot along Forest Drive to be utilized by residents for access to the Village’s greenway trail system. The project included an asphalt parking lot; stormwater detention facilities; landscaping; and off-site roadway improvements including curb and gutter and sidewalk.
If you are in Tennessee, the Memorial Park Trail in the City of Jellico is must-see. The trail provides connectivity to an existing walking trail in Memorial Park and access to Indian Mountain State Park in areas where future multi-use trails are desired.
The project also included a 100-foot long wooden pedestrian bridge in order to avoid an adjacent marsh and featured drainage conveyances with stacked stone sidewalls like those originally included in the construction of the City of Jellico.
BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN
Alternative modes of transportation are gaining popularity in communities, and residents are using them for enjoyment and leisure travel as well as for business. Individuals and communities alike benefit from non-motorized mobility.
The Brevard Bikeway in Brevard, North Carolina is a great place to get some exercise while also taking in scenic mountain views. It travels approximately two miles and creates a pedestrian connection from downtown Brevard to the County Recreation Complex and on to the Pisgah National Forest at the Davidson River. The paved bikeway travels adjacent to scenic Lambs Creek and offers a recreational amenity to Brevard and the surrounding community. McGill designed, permitted, and oversaw construction of this bikeway.
We encourage you to strive to be the best version of yourself in 2023 and we are proud to be working to create opportunities for you to do so. Click here to learn more about the work our land planning and recreation team is doing throughout the Southeast.