About Unity Park
Greenville’s newest park features four state-of-the-art playgrounds, including a 4,100-square-foot splash pad, two expansive green spaces, covered picnic tables and a 10,000-square-foot welcome center with restrooms, a first-aid station and flexible event space. The 60-acre park also features basketball courts and a historic baseball field located on the site of the former Mayberry Park, which was built in 1925.
Three pedestrian bridges span the Reedy River, which flows through the middle of the park. The Swamp Rabbit Trail, a popular 23-mile walking/biking trail, runs along both sides of the river and the park contains five additional looped walking trails totaling 2.5 miles. For those who prefer to pedal, there are seven bike rack stations conveniently located throughout the park.
An integral part of the park’s construction included restoration of the half-mile section of the Reedy River that bisects the park. The restored river section includes a terraced bank to help manage water flow, along with natural vegetation and grassy areas to combat erosion.
Efforts also included the restoration of a wetlands area on the park’s northern perimeter, which marks the original path of the Reedy River before it was diverted in 1933. The project includes an outdoor classroom as part of an ADA-accessible boardwalk, which will provide school children and park visitors the opportunity to learn about the native species and wildlife living in this unique environment.
Built with Safety in Mind
The construction of Unity Park was monitored by a third-party environmental testing agency, on site prior to and during all earth moving and construction activities to ensure compliance with all local, state, and federal regulations. The splashpad and playgrounds were both elevated and raised out of the base-flood elevation by approximately three feet and then covered with crushed stone and a drainage system prior to the installation of the artificial turf. The mounds were fabricated with imported fill material that were then sprayed with a two-inch layer of concrete for stabilization, prior to setting the artificial turf.
The Greenville Water Splash Pad has a recirculating system that utilizes water piped into the system from Greenville Water’s domestic drinking water supply. Water is jetted onto the splash deck and then recaptured via a sophisticated drainage system and piped into a pumphouse next the splash pad. The water is chemically treated, similar to public swimming pools, using chlorine as well as ultraviolet light before recirculating back out to the jets. The system is monitored by South Carolina DHEC for compliance with all state regulations for swimming pools. The splash pad was constructed on a base of compacted clay, then a eight-inch layer of stone, followed by a eight-inch thick concrete reinforced deck.
Despite some media reports to the contrary, there is no evidence of a toxic waste dump or crematorium in Unity Park. Locations that have hazardous materials, including toxic waste, are classified as Superfund Sites by the US Environmental Protection Agency and those locations can be searched via the EPA website. The north side of the park, where the playground and splashpad are located, was historically occupied by warehouses that serviced the railroad that ran along the Reedy River. Those warehouses were slowly demolished beginning in the 1980s and concluded during the construction of the park. Remnant warehouses remain at Unity Park, renovated and now serving as The Commons food hall, several offices, a bike shop, and the Unity Park Welcome Center. The locations of warehouses that were demolished are now open lawns, parking lots, and the playgrounds.