Pritchard Park gets a new ranger’s station

It may seem like buildings are going up everywhere in Asheville, but the new structure in Pritchard Park isn’t attempt to squeeze in another downtown condo. The kiosk is a ranger’s station for the park, which is a sometimes staging area for clashing cultures downtown.

Asheville Parks and Recreation Director Roderick Simmons says a ranger has already been hired and is due to begin her new job in mid-January. Pritchard Park has found itself at the epicenter of downtown discussion, sparking debate about the homeless, tourism, the weekly drum circle and a growing downtown residential population. That attention, Simmons said, led to a discussion at the city for hiring a permanent ranger for the park.

“The Pritchard Park issue has been going on awhile,” Simmons tells Xpress. “There needs to be some type of ambassador, some type of monitor in that area. The police can’t be everywhere all the time.”

The city already employs rangers at other parks, such as those on Amboy and Azalea roads. This particular kiosk is a temporary structure to determine what changes need to be made when the permanent building is erected, Simmons says.

Brian Postelle, staff writer

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18 thoughts on “Pritchard Park gets a new ranger’s station

  1. Nam Vet

    Finally a permanent police-type presence at Prichard Park. I applaud the move. I just hope the new “ranger” will truly keep order downtown and run off the pot smokers and loud bums that sometimes frequent our center of town. Bums should be seen and not heard…and not smelled either. No panhandling. Good luck ms ranger.

  2. Sage

    I don’t see a problem with as long this “ranger” does not become a dictator of who should be able to frequent the park.

  3. Jeff

    A better use of this structure would be as an outhouse. I have never seen a shortage of police in Pritchard Park. I have seen a shortage of restrooms.

  4. Really? Come on. You’d think the city could pull some better design on this one. I don’t think its a bad idea in concept, but placing a stupid little box in the park is detracting in my opinion.

    The design is ridiculous….

  5. Personally, I think they should have gone with the two-story model and a bird’s nest. You can really keep an eye on things from the tower. I give three stars for effort and one star for design. I will give five stars for effort when they put up the prison fencing.

  6. Nam Vet

    Yes, couldn’t they have designed this in an art deco style? :) Any takers on ponying up their own money to improve the design?

  7. Finally a prefect model for the coveted affordable housing that the city so desires.

    I want my tax refund for the money saved on this complete piece of junk. How much did city residents pay for the renovation of Pritchard Park only to have this storage unit from Lowes rolled off the truck.

  8. Jeff

    Um, it states in the article that this is not the final structure – only a temporary one for the trial period.

  9. Plackstar

    I think the Revolu should design the new building if he’s that opinionated about it!

  10. born and bread

    Perhaps they could set up an ID check, and if your papers don’t check out, then you get sent to the underground jail below the park, before being deported to Carrborough/Chappel hill.

  11. Sundance

    I just think the whole idea is a stupid one. Like someone else said…I have never seen a shortage of police presence in the area…and I never had a problem being down there before. I was at the park today and There was one lone person sitting on a bench on the outskirts of the park which is sad. Maybe one of these days we will get a city council that does not feel the need to meddle in anything and everything

  12. Nam Vet

    Sometimes I see police there, sometimes I don’t. A few years back I have walked down the sidewalk and smelled marijuana smoke. Sometimes have seen loud and boisterous drunken behavior. We do need a permanent law enforcement presence in the park that is the center of town. I’m glad they have done this.

  13. emma

    They should just install video cameras. No one likes big brother watching.

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