Walton Street Park

Park District: South Central
Census Tract:  9

Happening Now

Improvements are underway in Walton Street Park including parking lot repairs, seasonal tree pruning and the replacement of park benches and grills.  Additional improvements planned for spring, 2021 include installation of a new park sign and improved lighting.  The park remains open during these improvements, but the parking lot is closed to vehicular traffic.

The City recognizes the importance of this community park and is partnering with Southside Rising, a non-profit organization located in the Southside community, to gather input from neighborhood residents on additional improvements and the most appropriate way to preserve the park and its meaning to the community.  


Walton Street Park, located at 570 Oakland Road in the Southside community, is approximately 5 acres and includes a basketball court, picnic shelter, swimming pool, playground, and a ballfield.  The park has a long history, built around 1938, and is of particular importance to the local African American community.   

After multiple consecutive years of significant repairs, in 2016 the City contracted for a professional assessment of the Walton Street pool and its infrastructure.  The pool was found to be structurally deficient with major leaks and failing underground pipes.  The assessment’s conclusion was that Walton Street Pool had seen its useful life and was in serious need of replacement as repair and renovation options were no longer practical.  The recommendation was to discontinue making the extensive repairs to the pool and build a new one to serve the Southside community.  

Plans are being solidified for the construction of a new pool at the Dr. Wesley Grant, Sr. Southside Center at the same time as the facility gym and program space expansion.  Asheville City Council has allocated $1.8 million as a placeholder towards the projected $3 million construction cost of a new swimming pool.

The feedback from previous Southside community meetings has been to honor the historical importance of Walton Street Park and build a new pool for the following reasons:  

  • Non-pool users advocate for preserving the Walton Street Pool facility because it touched the lives of many generations. 
  • Current pool users have advocated to build a new pool with capacity to accommodate more swimmers, increase usage, and programming.   
  • Survey and focus groups of youth 18 & under have indicated they prefer a pool located at the Grant Southside Center because it could be larger, they would feel safer, and would have increased visibility next to the gym.



Fall/Winter, 2020:  Replacement of park benches, grills

Spring, 2021:  Installation of a new sign and improved lighting

Southside Rising gathering input from neighborhood


Supporting Documents

Swimming Pool Assessment


Contact Information

Sandra Travis, Program & Operations Manager




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