Client: City of Thomas, Thomas, WV
Project Summary: The goals and vision for the riverfront park development come from current stakeholder input as well as the recommendations of the 1998 and 2002 plans. The end goals of the development plan are to create parking and infrastructure to assist the downtown business district while creating a visually appealing park for the enjoyment of residents and visitors alike.
The Riverfront Park area across the North Fork of the Blackwater River has the potential to combine the two themes, arts and sports, in a way that will make it a central attraction in the Canaan Valley region and a unique place in West Virginia. Instead of duplicating other day use activities found in this region, the park’s use should be geared toward hiking, biking, rock climbing, roller blading, skateboarding, cross country skiing, snow tubing, fishing and outdoor concerts and theaters. These activities could help develop new businesses in the downtown that focus on these extreme sports. The park’s development into this type of venue should involve some private/public partnership that allows the business interest to help fund the construction and management of some of the park’s elements.
Thomas Riverfront Development Plan 2013
The primary emphasis of this plan is on making Thomas an attractive place to live, work and play. The City of Thomas has many assets, notably its historic properties and appearance and the beautiful natural setting (Thomas Pointe, 2002).
Key plan concepts include:
- Grand Staircase
- Improved vehicular access to and from Rt 32 to rail grade.
- Additional parking areas
- Allegheny Highlands Trail head with public restroom and changing facilities.
- Pedestrian bridge across North Fork in front of downtown to connect to western properties.
- Development of western properties with park amenities.
- Restoration of stream/streambanks to provide safe access and improved fishing and boating.
- Historic and natural history signage.
- ADA recreational opportunities.