Preserving playful places
Larchmont, N.Y.’s Flint Park was suffering. The 27-acre park, established in the early 1900s, had three athletic fields with inadequate drainage, poorly circulating pedestrian and vehicle traffic, lackluster landscaping, and insufficient space for people to congregate. Three years ago, village officials began to consider making substantial improvements to create a safer, more appealing and more useable park.
In late 2006, the village contracted with White Plains, N.Y.-based Woodard & Curran to study and design park improvements. Village officials wanted a state-of-the-art synthetic turf field to replace one of the natural grass fields, extensive new landscaping, increased open space and a waterfront nature walk. The plans also called for a wider and reconfigured park entrance, sidewalk construction so pedestrians and vehicles would not have to share the narrow road, a re-aligned road to enhance the view at the park entrance and additional parking.
Work began on the park last year, and construction was coordinated with park activities and other city operations so it remained open throughout the project. One of the biggest upgrades was installing a synthetic FieldTurf field cluster for soccer, football, lacrosse and field hockey. The synthetic turf surface and sub-surface stormwater management system can handle rainfall up to a rate of 30 inches per hour, which means the field remains usable during and after heavy rain. It also reduces maintenance costs and eliminates pesticide and herbicide application as well as mowing and irrigation.
For the grass fields, the topsoil was replaced with a root zone material, consisting of a topsoil and sand mix, and a sub-surface drainage system was installed to address the poor drainage. Porous asphalt on parking lots and pathways and new impervious surfaces with grass picnic areas also help control runoff.
Many new features of the park were open before the official ribbon-cutting ceremony in October 2008, and feedback from users is positive. Many said that the parks’ usability and the condition of the playing fields had been improved, and foot and bike traffic on park trails has increased.
Flint Park improvements
Village of Larchmont, N.Y.
White Plains, N.Y.-based Woodard & Curran
Oct. 15, 2008