East End Gateway Design Concepts & Survey
Published: Thursday, 01 March 2018 13:32
The Town of Wolfville has embarked on a master plan exercise for East End Gateway, encompassing Willow Park trail connections, and the leased Nova Scotia Power land on the opposite side of Main Street. The master plan will aim to create a sense of arrival and place, create a welcoming space for people entering the town via Main Street, review and make recommendations regarding recreational uses of the site, improvements to trail connections throughout the area, and creation of a public open space that reflects the unique landscape of Wolfville and surroundings. The resulting design will provide the Town of Wolfville with a plan that can be implemented in stages over time.
The consultant for this project, Ekistics Plan + Design, has developed 2 high-level concept options for the site, which are available to view below. We are seeking your input on which concepts you prefer, what are your priorities for implementation, and what level of programming you feel is appropriate for Willow Park.
- Please participate in the online Concept Design Survey (click link) - Deadline for Survey completion: Thursday, March 8, 2018
Concept 1 - Connecting with the Creek
- This concept pays homage to Mud Creek, the buried creek that once ran through the East End Gateway site. A meandering path references the creek, and connects across Main Street to link Willow Park with the Harvest Moon Trail. Landscaping along the new path will serve to collect stormwater runoff in the site, and create visual interest along the path, providing a visual buffer along the edge of the existing parking lot north of Main Street. The visitor information centre will be replaced with a new building, in roughly the same location. Expanded parking areas are proposed, as well as an improved sidewalk along Willow Street, a trailhead with bike racks, signage, and seating close to the Harvest Moon Trail, and a future lookoff / kayak pier at the water’s edge. The area north of Main Street is kept open, to maintain views to the water and provide a gather place for events. Corner entrance plazas with a low wall (gateway feature) 0anchor the site at the intersection and strengthen a sense of arrival in Wolfville. The theme of the creek, in addition to guiding the site design, can inform future public art or interpretive elements.
Concept 2 - The Harvest
- Taking cues from the agrarian landscape of the Annapolis Valley region, this concept uses a more linear geometry to organize the East End Gateway site. A strong axis is formed with a continuous sidewalk along Willow Ave., continuing across Main Street to the waterfront lands, drawing visitors across the open space to the water’s edge, and a proposed waterfront lookout. Expanded parking areas are proposed, as in Concept 1. Orchard-inspired plantings in Willow Park will reference orchards in the region, using small flowering trees planted in a grid. The new Visitor Centre in this concept is proposed at the corner of Willow Ave. and Main Street, and will be surrounded by a small plaza that addresses the Main Street streetscape, and is mirrored on the other side of Main Street. Gateway signage / low wall features will reinforce the sense of arrival in Wolfville. A gently sloping events lawn in the area north of Main Street will provide a gathering place. The trailhead is located at the intersection of new park paths and the Harvest Moon Trail. The Harvest theme not only informs the design of the site, but can also provide inspiration for future public art or interpretive elements.