Marysville Railbed Revitalization

Project Description

Schwab Eaton worked with the City of Marysville to prepare a master plan and design drawings for the redevelopment of an abandoned rail line. The project has greatly improved the area, transforming a blighted corridor that divided the city into a new public park, town center plaza, and pedestrian-bicycle path that reconnects the community and gives people a place gather and celebrate. 

The landscape at Pony Express Park is inspired by the bronze sculpture of a pony express rider that is the centerpiece of the park. The landscape architects selected primarily native prairie plants that the original riders may have galloped through on the ride west. A variety of perennials and native grasses were planted on the large earth mound in rings around the statue and in a nearby limestone planter bed. Pockets of plantings are set amidst rough cut limestone blocks that intersect the concrete path around the statue. Local volunteers have added placards to identify the numerous native species and encourage visitors to stop and interact with the plantings.

The landscape design along the Railbed Path continues the native theme. Some of the same native plants are combined with cultivars in large mixed beds at the trailhead immediatly south the park. Grasses and perennials are arranged in a strong linear pattern along both sides of the path to mimic the flow of bicyclists and pedestrians along the corridor. Shrubs add structure and year-round screening, and numerous trees will eventually provide shade along the pedestrian corridor.

Most of the plants selected are highly drought tolerant, and require only limited irrigation. To aid in establishment of the plants and to provide water during exceptionally dry times, the entire landscape was designed with an automated water-efficient irrigation system. Drip irrigation was used in the landscape beds and water-efficient spray nozzles in turf areas. A rain sensor overrides the watering programs during rainy periods.

Schwab Eaton is a full-service professional engineering and design firm. We offer civil engineering, surveying, landscape architecture, and construction support services.