With 1,472 acres of land and about 5,000 residents, the Town of Ayden prides itself on being a vibrant community with hometown charm. To enhance its village-like appeal and provide more outdoor recreational opportunities, Ayden envisioned a 51-acre district park on Jolly Road with a greenway connection to the adjacent neighborhood.
Working with the Town, WithersRavenel developed a comprehensive public engagement process to involve as many citizens as possible in the creation of the park’s master plan. Methods to solicit public input included monthly meetings with the Ayden Arts and Recreation Commission, a Future Needs Survey developed and distributed community-wide, a Public Input Meeting held by the Arts and Recreation Commission, and presentations to various stakeholder groups, including the Ayden Small Town Main Street Committee, Ayden Rotary Club, Ayden Elementary School PTA, and the Ayden Planning Board. Based on community feedback, WithersRavenel prepared the park master plan and PARTF grant application.
Phase 1 included a combination football/soccer field, splash pad, playground, tot lot, volleyball sand court, bocce ball and shuffleboard courts, horseshoe pits, picnic shelters, 18-hole disc golf course, restroom building, and walking trails.
Phase 2 included a baseball complex with two 300-foot fields and one 200-foot field, press box with concession stand, multipurpose building, amphitheater, and a maintenance building to service the site.
Following the award of the PARTF grant, WithersRavenel prepared construction documents for Phase 1. Construction on Ayden District Park began in the spring of 2013, and the park was officially dedicated on June 24, 2014.