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An abandoned parking lot within a sensitive floodplain is re-imagined as a dynamic, accessible, ecologically-sound public park.

New Hampshire

RDG is designing a three-acre park to be built within the floodplain of the Ashuelot River in New Hampshire on the site of what is now an abandoned parking lot. The park is ADA-accessible, and include a series of bioswales to treat and infiltrate stormwater, a native meadow, a shaded stone-dust plaza with built-in infrastructure to increase the site’s floodwater storage capacity, and an innovative, accessible natural playground.

The project was initiated by a group of private citizens, who enlisted RDG to help them organize a collaborative design process with city officials. RDG has also assisted in determining the timeline for the project, which includes an eventual ownership transfer of the site, and its future amenities, to the City. Currently the project is in fund-raising with plans to break ground in Summer 2018.

Key Features

  • Native meadow
  • Increased floodwater storage capacity
  • Accessible natural playground

Services Provided

  • Project goal setting and visioning
  • Site analyses
  • Schematic site plans
  • Permitting support

The Ashuelot boasts the site of the oldest known evidence of man in New Hampshire, dating back 10,500 years, and has also been identified by the US Fish and Wildlife Service as one of the four most important refuges for the federally-listed endangered dwarf wedge mussel. The Ashuelot became recognized as a state designated river in June 1993.

NH Dept. of Environmental Services

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