Rick Marshall donated much of the land along House Creek Trail to the City of Raleigh. The four land gifts, including 7 parcels, totaled nearly 12 acres. The House Creek Trail, completed in the summer of 2012, brings Raleigh’s total greenway mileage up to 78.
Marshall Park is approximately six acres of land, along a third of a mile of House Creek Greenway, near the Blue Ridge Road entrance. Adorned by meandering trails on either side, the park is planted with over 10,000 trees, shrubs, ground covers, grasses, and perennials. In addition to those provided by nature, the park boasts 12 different varieties of trees and approximately 50 varieties of plants in more than 12,000 square feet of beds. Botanical markers with both the scientific and common names identify the majority of plant species.
The landscape design approach includes native plants and trees already found in the woods and along the stream near the greenway, and brings them into the managed landscape of Marshall Park. Native riparian species, selected for color, foliage and form, and arranged in clusters and naturalized patterns, echo the surrounding environment. Plants chosen are able to withstand the disturbances found in a floodplain environment, as well as greenway maintenance.
The pavers for the path, the slabs cut and processed for the benches, and a special rough granite monolith shaped for the monument were imported from upstate New York, and placed on site using a crane. Marshall Park contains about 20 tons of dark granite, chosen to set a tone of permanence.
The pergola invokes a classic sensibility and the heavy trellis creates a strong, yet inviting public space. Looking up, the trellis frames a mesmerizing view of the sky. Early morning and late afternoon shadows cast by the design mimic the shapes from the surrounding forest.