Restored, Asheville’s ‘front lawn’ opens for a new season

Months of restoration on the Roger McGuire Green have paid off with lush sod ready for another season of park lovers and festival goers.

On the first of May, the fences came down, inviting everyone to enjoy this public space in Pack Square Park that serves as “Asheville’s front lawn.”

Asheville Parks & Recreation maintenance staff worked to get an earlier start on the sod replacement this year, contracting to have the sod put down the first of January. The goal, said Park Development & Planning Manager John Gavin, was to allow the sod to get well established before festival season.

The sod that was replaced in spring 2016 deteriorated under heavy use. Last year there were 68 permitted outdoor events in this area. With some of them being multiday festivals there were 78 days of reserved use, drawing an estimated attendance of 180,000. Those many footfalls took their toll on the sod.

From Yoga in the Park to the Beer City Festival, both set for May 27, the green plays host to many special events. Some of these larger events include:

  • Asheville Half Marathon
  • Asheville VeganFest
  • Shindig on the Green (eight times this season)
  • The Big Crafty
  • Asheville Wine & Food Festival
  • LEAF Downtown AVL
  • Organicfest
  • Goombay Festival
  • Blue Ridge Pride Festival
  • Asheville Oktoberfest

Don’t forget Movies in the Park, which debuts for the 2017 season with “Back to the Future” May 12. And there is Splasheville, the splash-play fountain in front of City Hall, a magnet to families.

Named in 1900 after George Pack for his donation of land to be used as a public park, Pack Square Park this 6.5-acre park runs from Pack Square to City Hall. When it comes to placemaking it’s our ultimate civic space.

The project cost is $16,000 and that included installing sod as well as aerating and seeding in another location shown on the map. A small portion of the green, a sloping area adjacent to the sidewalk by Pack’s Tavern, remains fenced to allow the sod in that area to become more well established.

For more information on the renovation project, visit the City of Asheville Parks & Recreation webpage, follow Parks & Recreation’s Facebook page or call 828-259-5800.