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Bull River Park Master Plan: a new generation

by

Lauren McDonald

A Senior Design Project Presented to the College of Environment and Design University of Georgia Under the Direction of: Doug Pardue In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Landscape Architecture Athens, Georgia Spring, 2011


table of contents history.............................................................................................................pg 1 location + connection...........................................................................pg 2 context + systems...................................................................................pg 3 natural + program...................................................................................pg 4 master plan..................................................................................................pg 5 pedestrian bridge.....................................................................................pg 6 species + plant community.................................................................pg 7 living edge.....................................................................................................pg 8 tidal salt marsh...........................................................................................pg 9 tidal progression........................................................................................pg 10 interpretive signage.................................................................................pg 11 self guided marsh walk..........................................................................pg 12 marsh walk guided tour........................................................................pg 13 self guided kayaking.................................................................................pg 14 plaza + market..........................................................................................pg 15 grading plan.................................................................................................pg 16 construction details.................................................................................pg 17


a new generation Williams Seafood has been a fixture in the Wilmington Island community for decades. What started as a roadside stand in 1936, gradually grew into a world renowned eatery right there on the banks of the Bull River. However, a fire was set in 2004 that would destory the restaurant, and take with it a half century of memories. The beloved restaurant served as the heart of the island community for many generations. Today, this site is only used as a casino boat parking lot and left desolate the remander of the time. This community desperately needs to be connected as it once was before; and, this site is perfect being that it is still a cultural landmark for the island residents today.

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location + connection

connection map

whitmarsh island mcqueen’s island wilmington island

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map key

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project site neighborhoods

savannah tybee island skidaway island

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fort pulaski mcqueen’s island greenway parking G

location map The location of this site along the Bull River provides an opportunity to connect the 7 mile Mcqueen’s Island Greenway to the Wilmington Island community. Currently, the surrounding

culture + landscape features

community is forced to drive to access the two entrances to the greenway. Furthermore, the parking lots are too small and have had crime problems over the years. The midtrail parking lot is especially a problem since it is underwater for much of the year. To mitigate these problems I am proposing a pedestrian bridge across the river, connecting the greenway to a wetland community park and providing safe access to the greenway.

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context + systems quarterman dr.

pathways + circulation bull river

The boardwalk will make up the primary pathways and circulation routes; however, secondary trails will become important routes for exploration of the forested areas of the park.

cultural + educational nodes The elements and activation of the cultural and educational nodes will be determined by the cultural network of the park, the individual carriers, and the physical environment. hwy 80 heavy vehicular traffic

potential pedestrian routes

moderate vehicular & pedestrian

vehicular access routes

waterway traffic

mcqueen’s island historic trail

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Native shrub and tree plantings will connect with surrounding habitat areas and build connections through the various zones of the park.

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existing vegetation

fence

MARS

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Stormwater corridors have been identified within the site that will act as collection systems to treat and infiltrate urban stormwater. Bio swales and constructed wetlands will actively be used to collect and treat urban run-off prior to discharge nto urban drainage systems and the river.

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stormwater treatment

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inventory + analysis ce

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land use Pathways will clearly delineate areas of the park; however, these spaces may be programmed for multiple uses. Neighboring properties will be evaluated and appropriate land use will be applied in phases.

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natural + program constructed wetlands

wet meadow maritime grasslands discovery forest

natural wetland plaza emerald forest parking

program key picnicing

kayaking

dining

boating

running/walking

bird hide

biking

natural playground

wetland education

hammock hookups

educational pavilion

vendor market

nature center

marsh walk

The Bull River Park boardwalk gives users a unique look at their surrounding ecosystem, not only connecting the park; but, also dictating the form and function of the park. The layout of the boardwalk is abstracted from the structure of a rail track and fitted into the natural landscape of the site. Moreover, the form of the site clearly delineates different

areas of the park which are programmed especially for each space. However, the programming of these spaces not

program plan

only cater to human recreation but are meant to educate the public on the importance of this ecosystem and the benefits we gain from it.

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bull river park

kayak dock boat dock pedestrian bridge

existing marsh

boardwalk market

river steps

cafe marsh walk overlook marsh dock

restore+ educate + connect

pavilion

Through the incorporation of elevated boardwalks Bull River Park users are provided a unique experience and progression through various areas of the park. In the transition from more open spaces, such as grassy wetlands or open water to more densely forrested areas, the boardwalk gradually slopes up to a level of 6-12 feet. This would give visitors a journey through the tree canopy, an experience that would create a connection to an ecosystem of the park that is not usually thought of. This would also create vantage points through observation decks, spaces that could be used as community spaces or places to watch wildlife. Adults and children alike will enjoy participating in various educational programs the Nature Center organizes and holds throughout the park. The space will not only be a means for community connection but will also provide a hands on educational tool unlike any other low country area.

bird hide nature center parking lot

master plan

N section elevation

parking lot

discovery forest

maritime grasslands

wet meadow

maritime grasslands

cafe

existing wetland

river steps

bull river

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pedestrian bridge The pedestrian bridge will take a look into the past and borrow its form from an old railroad bridge. This will embody the history of the site and provide another educational opportunity in the park. The bridge will also create a crucial linkage to allow those using the Greenway direct, safe access into and out of the park. The bridge will also be programmed for activities such as dolphin and boat watching, fishing, as well as benches to simply rest on.

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species

The salt marshes and upland areas of the adjacent undisturbed islands support many species of wildlife. There are hundreds of species found in around the salt marshes of the Southeast. Noteably, there are 9 Protected Species that have been identified around the proposed park. These are: American oystercatcher, bald eagle, gull-billed tern, least tern, loggerhead sea turtle, manatee, peregrine falcon, piping plover, swallow-tailed kite, Wilson’s plover and woodstork. Furthermore, there are many important species more abundant to the are such as the black rat snake, alligator, racoon, bottlenose dolphin, corn snake, white tailed deer, and river ottor.

In the early nineteenth century the island would have been primarily salt marsh with some coastal hammock forest. In order to develop the island for human habitation, the installation of roadways, railways, sewage lines,

plant community

electrical lines, etc. has greatly modified the island. Also, many environmental hazards found along the Savannah River have led to a change in natural habitat over the years. However, today one can see that there is still traces of a maritime forest on and around the site. A visitor to the site today will find trees such as the live oak, palmetto palm, yellow pine, eastern red cedar, and chinaberry.

black needlerush chinaberry eastern red cedar live oak palmetto palm smooth cordgrass yellow pine less abundant

more abundant

most abundant target

With the exception of the Hwy. 80 causeway and the old Tybee Island railroad grade, all the surrounding islands and river corridors consist of salt marsh. As one drives along the causeway on Hwy. 80, smooth cordgrass and black needlerush stretch almost as far as the eye can see.

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living edge

The living edge where the water meets the land and its structures is one of the most exciting spaces of the park. One can learn about the marsh vendors ecosystem, browse the market, passively sit and enjoy the views, or get down to the waters edge and just play. This area of the park is meant to merge the boardwalk natural with the built. These constructed wetlands inspired by the Georgia coast’s barrier islands are a interpretive signage unique treatment system that use natural processes involving wetland vegetation, soils, and theirassociated microbial assemblages to improve dock water quality. In addition to a treatment system, this bench

area will function as floodwater storage, fish and wildlife habitat, and produce biological productivity.

light viewing scopes

river steps

river steps marsh levels low medium

site plan scale 1”= 20’-00”

high existing water

section elevation W section elevation

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tidal salt marsh

education + ecology marsh border

low marsh

high marsh

-infrequent or no tidal flooding -lower salinity -drier soil

-less frequent tidal flooding -moderate salinity -wet soil

-frequent tidal flooding -high salinity -wettest soil

tide level pool

very high high medium low

panne

high tide low tide

The Salt Marsh Walk has the opportunity to establish connectivity of the park to the adjacent neighborhoods as well as turning the marsh into an outdoor classroom. Urban Park Rangers can use the plants and animals of the salt marsh as object lessons in a variety of subjects, including ecology, botany, and ornithology. Children also may learn about the city's cultural hisotry through lessons highlighting the development and expansion of parks. When the outdoor lessons end, Urban Park Rangers can offer supplemental educational materials that allow teachers to bring the day's experience back to their classrooms. The Natural Classroom including activities and lessons learned in the field will not only prepare the students to meet federal, state and city learning standards; but also instill environmental stewardship in the children at an early age.

elevated boardwalk section elevation

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tidal progression

low level tide

mid level tide

high level tide

marsh levels low medium high existing water

N section elevation

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interpretive signage

Barrier Islands of Georgia Georgia meets the Atlantic Ocean along the sandy beaches of the present-day barrier islands, known as the Sea Islands or the Golden Isles. Scientists refer to them as barrier islands because they form a barrier between the sea and the land. The current configuration of Georgia's shoreline is only the most recent in a long series of changing shorelines.

structure of a typical barrier island barrier flat dune ridge

open ocean

beach

salt marsh

lagoon

The islands are composed basically of dune and beach-ridge sands. They were shaped—and are still being altered—by wind, waves, currents, tides, and a slowly rising or stable sea level. From north to south along Georgia's 100-mile-long coast, the barrier islands are Tybee, Little Tybee, Ossabaw, Wassaw, St. Catherines, Sapelo, Wolf, Blackbeard, Sea, St. Simons, Little St. Simons, Jekyll, Little Cumberland, and Cumberland. The barrier islands today typically have four ecosystems: sweeping salt marshes, maritime forests, freshwater sloughs, and hard-packed sandy beaches. On the islands' western sides are the vast tidal salt marshes, composed mostly of the salt-tolerant plant Spartina alterniflora, or smooth cordgrass. The coastal marshes, tidal creeks, and connecting estuaries are important nursery areas for fish, crab, shrimp, and other marine species.

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self guided marsh walk

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marsh walk guided tour

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self guided kayaking

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market

plaza

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grading plan scale 1”=20’-00”

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FS: 48.2 41

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FS: 49 TS: 47.8 BS: 43.8 46 47

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46 47 48 49

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FS: 47.8

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TS: 43.8 BS: 42 TS: 42 BS: 41 TS: 41 BS: 40

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46 47 48

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construction details 10'-00"

13'-00"

2"

4'-00"

3" WRCLA CUSTOM KNOTTY W PENETRATING FINISH

5'-00"

6'-00" SHEET WITH 1/2" CD PLYWOOD COVER WITH ROOFING FELT AND SHINGLE 1' x 6', LET 1 1/2" EXTEND BEYOND RAFTERS

HALF-LAP JOINTS FASTENED TO POST WITH 1/8" x 3" LAG BOLTS AT ALL FOUR CORNERS

2" x 6" PT JOIST 16" O.C.

1'-00" grade varies

BOLTED CONNECTION (TYP) MANUFACTURED BY HUBBEL POWER SYSTEMS

GALV. TIMBER SUPPORT BRACKET

2'-5 1/2"

BOARDWALK SPAN 8'-00"

4' x 4' RAIL

GALV. TIMBER SUPPORT BRACKET (W T/C CONNECTION IF TIEBACK OPTION IS CHOSEN 2'-5 1/2"

4' X 4' RAIL

3/4" ROD & YOKE ASSEMBLE FOR CONNECTING LATERAL BRASE

2' x 2' PICKETS 30" LONG, SPACED 4 1/2" BTWN

7'-6"

PLAIN EXTENTIONS

2' x 4' RAIL 36"

14" HELIX

10'-00"

2' x 6' FLOORING WRCLA CUSTOM KNOTTY W PENETRATING FINISH

SS5 HELICAL TIEBACK FOR LATERAL BRACE

MAINTAIN AT LEAST 12" ABOVE SURFACE OF WETLAND IN ALL LOCATIONS

12" HELIX 2-7/8" O.D. PIPE SHAFT HELICAL SCREW ANCHOR FOR SUPPORT OF BOARDWALK

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2' x 4' RAIL WRCLA CUSTOM KNOTTY W PENETRATING FINISH

2' x 3' CONCRETE FOOTER

NOTE: CHANCE HELICAL ANCHOR SYSTEM MANUFACTURED BY HUBBELL POWER SYSTEMS AT 210 N. ALLAN STREET, CENTRALIA, MO 65240. 573-682-8414

boardwalk section scale 1”=5’-00”

1/8" x 3" LAG BOLTS 2' x 10' 12"

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5/8" x 3/4" LAG BOLTS

pavilion section scale 1/5”=1’00”

1/2"x6" S.S. DOWELS. TWO PER UNIT SET IN NON-SHRINK GROUT 1 1/2" R

GRANITE CAP. POLISHED FINISH. SET ON 1 1/2"-2" MORTAR BED

(2")

SLOPE AWAY

EPDM WATERPROOF MEMBRANE MANUFACTURED BY FIRESTONE SPECIALTY PRODUCTS

3/8"x6" C.S. TREE ANCHOR BOLT, SET IN NON-SHRINK GROUT (AS REQUIRED)

1'6"

WATERPROOFING SEAL SEPARATOR FABRIC

CONC. FOOTING, REINF. AS REQUIRED DEPTH VARIES WITH FROSTLINE 12" MIN.

PERF. DRAIN AGGREGATE BACKFILL

THERMAL BAFFLE

3' GRAVEL UNIFORMLY SIZED DOUBLE WASHED

1 3/4" GRANITE VENEER, POLISHED FINISH, ANCHOR TO CAP AT BOTH ENDS, SHIM AT SILL FINISH GRADE, SLOPE AWAY

NATIVE VEGETATION

RHIZOME NETWORK

2" DIAM. OUTFLOW PIPE

2" DIAM. INFLOW PIPE 2'-3' HALF PIPE OR HALF DRUM COVERED WITH 3' OF GRAVEL

LEVEL CONTROL PLUG THERMAL BAFFLE

2" DIAM. DRAIN

#4 REBAR NOTE: SEE PLUMBING DRAWINGS FOR ALL CONSTRUCTED WETLAND PLUMBING DETAILS.

PREPARED SUBGRADE 1'-00"

1'-3"

NOTES: SEAL ALL MORTAR JOINTS AND DAMP PROOF BACK AND VENEER JOINT AT SOIL LINE. USE CHANNEL PINS.

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seatwall section scale 1”=5’-00”

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constructed wetland section scale 1”=5’-00”

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Senior Capstone Project  

Project chosen and designed while obtaining a degree at the University of Georgia.

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