Adams Conservation Commission OKs Train Station Park
|Craig Okerstrom Lang explains the elements of the landscaping around the proposed train station on Hoosac Street.|
ADAMS, Mass. — The Conservation Commission approved last week the redevelopment of land on which the Adams Station project will sit.
The town plans to renovate the former car wash at 4 Hoosac St. to create a seasonal park location that may be used for the Berkshire Scenic Railway. Because the location sits close to the Hoosic River, the commission had to approve the project.
The station was approved Thursday with two conditions: that the area be cleared of debris before construction and that a locked gate be added to the fence facing the river so maintenance workers can pass through.
The renovation and landscaping plans will only improve the area and they meet performance standards so the commission unanimously approved the proposed landscaping plans.
"The site is completely degraded, and it's all gravel," Craig Okerstrom Lang, with Okerstrom Lang Landscape Architects, said. "… There is no lawn, there are pieces of large steel lying on it, and there is an old bulldozer on it."
Okerstrom Lang said the area has little top soil and he will be adding some and vegetation. He said nearly 50 percent of the area will be planted.
Because the park will see near 15,000 to 16,000 pedestrians a year, Okerstrom Lang said paved walkways similar to what is found in the Armory Court Park will be installed and will follow a railroad theme.
He said the park will have benches and picnic tables along with shade trees, street trees and ornamental grass.
"We are trying to reduce the amount of mowed lawn if we can and keep the maintenance down," he said.
Because the existing structure is only being renovated, there are no issues with its development. If the building was being enlarged it would have to meet different requirements.
"What we are going to do is change the roof to a metal roof," Okerstrom Lang said. "It is going to have a more decorative roof on it, and the footprint will not be changed."
Okerstrom Lang said water will be directed for erosion control and no structures installed to alter drainage.
"We are going to flow … across the lawn like how the drainage works now, and we think it's a much lower impact project not having a drainage structure," he said "… Also it keeps our expenses down."
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