The Pinnacle Park Foundation, in collaboration with the town of Sylva, is seeking input on the future of Pinnacle Park.
Responses to a survey, which includes this question and others, will play a crucial role in shaping the master plan for Pinnacle Park. This 1,500-acre park has been affectionately dubbed a “gem” by those who know it intimately.
In 2021, Equinox Environmental conducted a thorough survey of Pinnacle Park, meticulously examining every corner of its landscape to identify its diverse flora, fauna, and ecosystems. The results of this environmental survey reinforced the park’s exceptional status as a natural treasure.
Now, the plan is to integrate this valuable ecological information with public input to strike a balance between recreational uses and environmental preservation. You can find the survey on the town’s website: townofsylva.org/notices/pinnacle-park. Equinox Environmental has also been contracted to develop the comprehensive master plan.
The Pinnacle Park Foundation, a group of dedicated volunteers committed to enhancing the park’s forested areas, initiated the request for this master plan. This plan will serve as a guiding document for the town’s decisions regarding the park for the next ten years. The town authorized Town Manager Paige Dowling to sign the contract with Equinox in May, with a budget not exceeding $150,000.
Funding for this endeavor comes from various sources, including the town’s Fisher Creek General Fund, Jackson County, and the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority, each contributing $50,000.
The survey will remain open for responses until early to mid-October, as stated by Foy.
Master plans are crucial for long-term planning and help identify the infrastructure needed for current and future land use. Such planning enables the town to anticipate and address its infrastructure needs both in the present and down the road. According to the request for proposals, the project’s goals include:
- Conducting a survey to assess the recreational needs of the 1,775-acre Pinnacle Park.
- Creating a comprehensive and phased Master Plan for Pinnacle Park that aligns with the current and future conditions in Sylva. This plan will effectively guide the town for the next decade in terms of development, management, and maintenance of Pinnacle Park. It covers aspects such as natural areas, recreational amenities like trails and facilities, and educational and research programs. Additionally, it addresses funding and equitable resource allocation, while also adhering to the goals and directives of the N.C. Land and Water Fund easements and the recommendations from Equinox’s upcoming environmental inventory report.
- Developing a three-year Phase I plan for recreational enhancements, including estimated budgets. This phase may involve designing and constructing new trails, improving existing trails, and creating other recreational amenities.
- Preparing grant applications for funding from the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund and the N.C. Recreational Trails Program to support the Phase I plan.