Ross Park Nature Play and Exploration Trail
Ross Park Nature Play and Exploration Trail Master Plan, a new, innovative NLI project in Binghamton, NY (location of SUNY campus), kicked off last November with an in-person stakeholder workshop led by NLI’s Robin Moore and Brandon Dupree. Ross Park Zoo, the project sponsor, occupies part of the original 90 acres of land on Binghamton’s South Mountain, donated in 1887 by Erastus Ross – along with funding for the zoo (opened in 1875, 5th oldest in the nation). In 1886, Binghamton launched the first electric trolly car system in New York State, which for 40+ years stopped at the park for the enjoyment of roller coaster rides, swings, and other amusements.
Now, after several twists and turns of history, the fondly revered Ross Park Zoo sees the Nature Play and Exploration Trail as a necessary anchor to the adjacent “mountaintop” parkland and community cultural zone (children’s Discovery Center and unique Story Garden), fronting Park Creek. Participants in the stakeholder workshop set a clear direction for the development of the design program by NLI to frame the creation of the Trail Master Plan.