On arguably one of the coldest days of the year, we set out on an adventure in open-air utility vehicles traversing wet, remote areas of Zebulon. The Public Works department and members of the Advisory Committee led the design team on a tour of the town’s sewer easements.
As much fun as tooling around in the mud with four-wheel drive utility vehicles is, this was an opportunity for the designers to see parts of Zebulon that cannot be easily seen by car or on foot. Public sewer easements present good opportunities for greenway locations. Easements are already cleared, publicly owned, lead to important destinations and often contain some beautiful scenery.
Tayrn Meadows to Weaver’s Pond
We arrived at the Public Works office bright and early that morning, all bundled up in our wool hats, heavy gloves and thermal underwear. We met with the Public Works staff, loaded up the trucks with the utility vehicles and headed out to our first stop … the sewer easement that connects Taryn Meadows with Weaver’s Pond. This has the potential to be a strong connection between these two neighborhoods as well as Wakelon Elementary School and Park. (click on the photos to see them larger)
Future reservoir area
Next, we explored part an area on the west side of town near the location of the future reservoir. This area provides one of the few opportunities to cross US 264 and has the potential to be a strong connection between the Riley Hill Road area and Little River Park. However, the area nearest US 264 is extremely wet … so wet that we managed to get one of the utility vehicles stuck. Oops.
Zebulon Community Park to 5 County Stadium
After warming up and grabbing lunch at the Community Center, we headed out along the sewer easement that runs between the Community Park and the sewer treatment plant near 5 County Stadium. Like the other trips, this was a very wet area and most likely would require a fair amount of boardwalk. But the view is worth it! Along the trip, we spotted deer, hawks and a variety of other wildlife. This easement follows Little Creek, which surprised us with a beautiful rock outcropping and waterfall.
Wedgewood to Gannon Ave.
Our last stop for the day followed sewer easements that connect Wedgewood to Gannon Ave. These easements have the ability to connect multiple neighborhoods together and provide a bigger connection to downtown and possibly Little River Park. When we got stuck for a second time, it was time to call it a day.
Overall, the trip was a fantastic experience! We learned a lot about the town and its hidden treasures. We also reaffirmed some of our initial thoughts on potential greenway locations. Stay tuned for the next round of maps that will detail some of our top priorities for corridors.