The city is planning the future of a northwest Raleigh park, and residents are weighing in about what they’d like to see at the site: a picnic area, dog park, pickleball courts and a nature park, to name a few suggestions.
Residents have floated their ideas at meetings hosted by the Wooten Meadow Citizens Planning Committee, which is working through a master-plan process for the park with the city of Raleigh.
The city will host a public tour and planning session for Wooten Meadow Park on West Millbrook Road on Saturday.
The committee and city staff members are listening to suggestions, but there’s still a long way to go before anyone knows what will become of the park, said project manager Matthew Keough.
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“We all have to understand what the possibilities are and then realistically what we can do and afford and then the impact whatever plans we make will have on the surrounding residents,” said Carole Sawicki, a member of the group planning committee.
Sawicki has lived near the park since the 1970s and was a member of the Raleigh parks and recreation citizens advisory board in the mid-1980s.
Parts of the park are wetlands, and other parts are in the floodplain. That means it would be tough to put traditional park structures at the site, said committee member Jennifer Hoverstad.
“It creates challenges that we may not have in other park space,” she said.
Early survey results gathered by an outside consulting group in 2014 showed residents were interested in playgrounds, walking and running trails and park benches. There’s also space at the park for greenway connections between the Hare Snipe Creek and Crabtree Creek trails.
Residents who have contacted the city about the park in recent years have also expressed interest in developing athletic fields, Keough said. The park used to be a site for the Capital Area Soccer League.
CASL used Wooten Meadow Park as a practice field in 2005. But neighbors complained about loud and disruptive games, Sawicki said.
The league and city tried to negotiate a contract, but CASL had to remove Wooten Meadow Park as one if its practice sites because an agreement was never reached.
Sawicki and Hoverstad both envision a quieter future for Wooten Meadow Park based on what they’ve learned so far while serving on the planning committee.
“In my mind I would love to see it kept as natural as possible while still being a very usable space,” Hoverstad said.
Sawicki watched the land change from a space used for horseback riding to athletic fields and then to a space where she and her children explored nature. A peaceful area seems fitting to her.
“If there are ideas that will work that will make it a little more active, that’s OK too,” she said.
The city plans to have a completed master plan for the park by the end of 2015.
Share your vision
Residents are invited to an open park event at Wooten Meadow Park from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 11. The park is located at 2801 W. Millbrook Road, Raleigh. Participants can tour the site and offer suggestions and ideas about the future of the park.