'Place for all:' Raleigh holds first community meeting on Dix Park redesign
Posted November 16, 2017 6:21 p.m. EST
Updated November 16, 2017 11:52 p.m. EST
Raleigh, N.C. — The first Dix Park community meeting was held Thursday evening at the Hunt Library from 6 to 8 p.m. on North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus.
The meeting’s purpose was to allow the public to have a say and see a presentation by lead park designer Michael Van Valkenburgh on the future of the park.
The sprawling 300 acre piece of land will eventually be transformed into what city leaders are calling a “destination park.”
The project is currently in the master planning phase, and Van Valkenburgh and city leaders are brainstorming ideas.
He says they are at the very beginning of a 20-month planning process and officials are hoping for an open dialogue with the community about the future of the Dorothea Dix Park.
"You don't design landscapes every day of your life, and come to something like this and not have any ideas," Van Valkenburgh said. "At the same time, we're not going to be aggressive with ideas that people don't like. I think people want us to have ideas, but it's going to be a back and forth."
Amy Riggleman and dozens of Triangle residents had their say at the first Dix Community Meeting.
The public gave feedback verbally and in writing.
"We live right across the street, so we'll be using it a lot," Riggleman said. "I just want a place to relax and walk around. So I wrote down a coffee shop and some hammock hooks."
"I think the most important thing is that this becomes a gathering place for all in the city," Van Valkenburgh said. "That no matter who you are, the chances are strong there's going to be something you would like to do there."
Van Valkenburgh's previous projects include the Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York and the Maggie Daily Park in Chicago.
"I would like to see it become a place where people walk and become one with nature," resident Dexter Perry said.