Greenways and Green Spaces in Knightdale
A new playground is under construction at Knightdale Station.
Green spaces and fun places are coming to Knightdale’s 11,000 residents! Thanks to construction currently underway and plans in the works, as well as support from the town’s leadership and voters, an extensive new park is taking shape in Knightdale. The new park, recently named Knightdale Station, is nestled between Knightdale Blvd. (US-64 Business) and downtown.
“The park is being completed in several phases,” Parks and Recreation Director Tina Cheek said. “The first will include walking & biking trails, several multi-purpose fields, a destination playground, a dog park and more.” That phase will be complete in July this year. “Phase 2 involves development of an amphitheater, open-air shelters, a decorative water tower feature with misting station, and plenty of parking.”
Future phases will include tennis courts, a skate park, a pier in one of the park’s ponds, and permanent seating, along with a stage in the amphitheater.
The entire park will serve as a much-need gathering space for the community. “The park will become a central hub where so many things will be happening,” said Brian Bowman, Knightdale Public Information Officer. The Parks and Recreation Department also will be able to add to its program offerings, such as ultimate Frisbee and flag football, and one of the fields will have lighting to enable recreational leagues to play at night.
Knightdale is currently seeking sponsorships and funding for the completion of Knightdale Station to supplement the funds provided by citizens via the bond passed last fall. More than 78% of voters said “yes” to the expansion. Work is now underway reviewing the proposals, and it is expected to be completed by late 2014. Once the amphitheater and parking are in place, Cheek said there are numerous opportunities for festivals, events, concert series, a food truck rodeo and more. Knightdale will even have a home for its first Fourth of July celebration in 2014!
This new pedestrian bridge completed last year connects Knightdale’s greenway with Raleigh’s Anderson Point Park on the Neuse River Greenway.
Farmers’ Market: Local Produce in the Park
The upcoming season marks the third year for the Market in the Park, Knightdale’s farmers’ market currently located at Harper Park on Main Street. The market is open on Thursdays from 5-8 pm starting in early May, and typically there are 15-20 vendors, depending on the time of the year. The market includes locally grown seasonal produce, arts and crafts, and baked goods.
The market will move to the new Knightdale Station in spring 2015, and will provide a permanent structure to provide some shelter for shoppers and vendors, as well as better parking and restroom facilities. Cheek is working to add more activities to bring more people to market, such as a free program, Dancing to Shape Knightdale, which includes a free workout in the park complete with music and instructor.
The long-awaited opening of the Mingo Creek Greenway, the first major component of Knightdale’s greenways, is set for spring 2014. The western-most section of the greenway already connects to Raleigh’s Anderson Point Park on the Neuse River Greenway via a pedestrian bridge that was completed last year. Once the Mingo Creek Greenway is completed, it will give cyclists, runners and families nearly four miles of new trails to explore, all the way to Knightdale Station. It will become an integral part of the 28-mile Neuse River Greenway, which runs from Falls Lake Dam to the Wake-Johnston County line, Bowman said.
Supporting Activity and Wellness
“Knightdale Mayor Russell Killen and the Town Council members are advocates for health and walkability in Knightdale,” Bowman commented. “The new park and all its facilities will really bring a positive change for our community. The green areas, the trails…it’s all consistent with their goals.”
Staff from the Town of Knightdale and the Chamber of Commerce participate in meetings of the Eastern Wake AHA Work Group that formed last fall. Leaders, staff and businesses in Zebulon and Wendell and Knightdale are working together with AHA staff to explore how to increase access to physical activity and healthy food in the Eastern part of the county.