New urban park being planned for downtown Raleigh

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North Carolina Construction News staff writer

The Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources (PRCR) Department is planning to build a new park north of downtown Raleigh. The project is at the concept design phase and is known as the Devereux Meadow Park project.

The site is a 14-acre city-owned property currently used as a city maintenance facility and the plan is to convert the property into a natural and passive urban park.

A concept plan for this park includes pathways, plazas, natural spaces, extensive native landscapes, and improvements to the Pigeon House Branch stream, and constructed wetlands. For additional information, please see the project webpage.

Most of the site is in the floodplain and contains areas of subsurface contamination. This contamination warrants environmental remediation before becoming a public park. Between 2017 and 2020, the project consultant, Tetra Tech Engineering, conducted environmental site analysis and constraints evaluations which are used to inform project planning and design.

Initiated in December 2020, the project is in the  conceptual and schematic design stage and design alternatives will be vetted through internal and external engagement with city staff, local stakeholders and the public, the parks board, and city council. At this time, funding for the construction of this proposed park has not been allocated.

The name “Devereux” can be traced back to John Devereux, Jr., the owner of several North Carolina plantations during the 1800’s.  The City of Raleigh is aware of the issues and public concerns associated with the Devereux name, and the Parks, Recreation, and Greenway Advisory Board (PRGAB) has recommended the Devereux Meadow Park Project be renamed.

At the July 2022 PRGAB meeting, the board recommended the following three new names for the future park – Gateway Park, Smoky Hollow Park and Robinson-Greenberg Park.

Results of a public survey on the name choice will be presented to the PRGAB at their Sept. 15 regular meeting.  Also, PRGAB will review the Concept Plan and make recommendations.

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