Raleigh City Council awarded the Walnut Creek Improvements construction contract to Span Builders, LLC on Oct 19, 2021. The project includes improvements to the existing Walnut Creek Wetland Park with the addition of
• a 10-foot wide paved concrete trail spur from the Norman and Betty Camp Education Center to the Walnut Creek Greenway Trail with a paved spur trail connecting to existing natural surface trails;
• a concrete sidewalk from the Center to Peterson St;
• an 11-foot concrete boardwalk bridge crossing over Little Rock Creek;
• a 24’ x 24’ floating teaching platform with a shade sail off the existing Walnut Creek Greenway Trail;
• a 4-foot wide natural surface trails along Walnut Creek from Bailey Dr to State St;
• a 4-foot wide concrete boardwalk trail across a wetland between Walnut Creek and Bailey Dr; and
• concrete stairs to connect the new natural surface trails to State St.
The project also includes several interpretive panels for cultural and environmental interpretation across the Park. The City will begin construction on the park improvements in early 2022. During construction, a portion of the Walnut Creek greenway trail near the Norman and Betty Camp Education Center will be closed and a detour provided. Construction is anticipated to be complete in Fall 2022.
$1 million was allocated through the 2014 Parks Bond Referendum to complete a park master plan and park improvements for Walnut Creek Wetland Park. Subsequently, the City engaged the community to formulate a master plan for the Park, concluding with the City Council adopting the Walnut Creek Wetland park master plan in 2018. The plan prioritized increased community access and visibility from Rochester Heights to the Wetland Park and access to the wetland itself to increase educational opportunities. Based on these priorities and available funding, design was completed for a new trail and boardwalk from the Norman and Betty Camp Education Center to an accessible teaching platform at the wetland’s edge. Additionally, after hearing from the community, the City added a pedestrian connection from the southern park parcel to the northern park parcel to the project through additional funding from the Neighborhood and Community Connections program. This piece of the project will connect the Rochester Heights community to the Education Center.