Karen Cragnolin Park

NBW, alongside non-profit organization RiverLink, has begun the design for a 5.3 acre site located in Asheville, North Carolina along the French Broad River. 

Once a car junkyard in operation since 1952 and sitting on a concrete foundation up to eight feet in depth, the contaminated site is part of EPA’s Brownfield Program and has undergone intensive phytoremediation in recent years. The site is named after Karen Cragnolin, RiverLink’s tireless founder and executive director since the non-profit’s inception in 1986.

The site and surrounding landscapes offer a rich geological and cultural history which NBW aims to cultivate and celebrate in the river park’s design. The park will serve as a jewel in the longer strand of parks adorning the edges of the French Broad River. The region, once host to a variety of semi-nomadic Native American tribes who enjoyed the river’s resources as well as the ground’s rich mica offerings, now features a multitude of breweries, festivals, art spaces, and outdoor activities—like fishing, kayaking, and tubing—that congregate around the French Broad River. Karen Cragnolin Park will unify the greenway along the French Broad and will provide Asheville locals and visitors rejuvenation, a connection to indigenous culture, and a window into the landscape’s own geological and botanical heritage.

Collaborators: RiverLink, Karen Cragnolin Park Steering Committee, Dr. Ari Ferro, Equinox Environmental, Samsel Architects, Anchor QEA