George Pierce Park expansion is one of Gwinnett County’s newest, intergenerational, universally accessible park projects. The 304-acre County Park is located in Suwanee, GA. George Pierce Park | Gwinnett County and is home to a community center, sports fields, the Ivy Creek Trail, and expanses of high quality upland and lowland forest.
The Centerpiece of TSW’s plan for the park expansion is a universally accessible playground embracing features that remove both the physical and social barriers to equitable play. There are 7 unique playground pieces with the focal point being a two-story lookout tower that has both slides and climbing nets integrated into its design. The playground rubber tile surfacing by sofSURFACES (https://www.sofsurfaces.com/) is permeable, provides stormwater infiltration, storage, fall safety performance, and pleasing playful color pattern that coordinates with the play features.
An accessible nature loop trail was designed to traverse the rugged forest adjacent to the playground while maintaining slopes less than 5%. Design of the trail was challenging and required diligent focus before and during construction to minimize damage to the woodland floor and mature tree canopy. Prior to construction, the on-site review of the land disturbance yielded in-field changes to minimize the construction footprint. Low timber retaining walls were used to reduce grading and preserve trees allowing the path to stay tight to the existing topography and better engage the native landscape. The result is a pathway that appears as though it has been there for years. In areas where grading could not be minimized reforestation techniques were utilized. 460 five-gallon trees, consisting of oaks, tulip poplars, hickories, and ironwoods were planted 6′-0″ on center to help quickly stitch gaps in the forest canopy.