Ashley River Park Aerial Rendering

Ashley River Park

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Rendering of the Proposed BoardwalkDesign development, construction drawings and permitting have been completed for Ashley River Park (ARP). This project is ready to go out for construction bids as soon as funding is available.

The unique 85 acre riverfront property will offer something for all ages and abilities with major features including trails, fishing pond, event spaces, playground, splash fountain, dog parks, ropes course, climbing wall, picnic areas and kayak launch.

Naming rights and partnership opportunities are currently available through our partners at Friends of Dorchester County Parks

Project Updates

2011 - 2014

The ARP property was purchased in 2012, at a cost of $1.45 million, with proceeds from the Rendering of the Proposed Dog Park2010 voter-approved $5 million bond referendum for parks and conservation.  

In September of 2014, Dorchester County hired its first Parks and Recreation Department staff member to oversee this project and to develop a countywide parks and recreation system. 


Rendering of the Proposed Climbing WallAs part of the 2015 County Parks and Recreation Master Plan Update process, staff solicited public feedback on the ARP project and other county park and recreation initiatives.  The major themes of feedback regarding ARP were related to the need for event spaces, multi-use green space, trails, fishing, and waterway access.  

In June of 2015, preliminary work commenced related to wetland delineation and verification, flood zones, utility easements, and associated surveying.  It quickly became clear that all of these factors would create significant challenges to park design and development.  


In September of 2016, the county signed a contract with Seamon Whiteside and Associates to provide master planning services for ARP.

2017 - 2019

Public feedback gathered in 2015 was incorporated into the updated Ashley River Park Proposed Playgrounds and Splash Pad RenderingMaster Plan.  County Council approved this plan in January of 2017.

In February of 2017, the county signed a contract with Seamon Whiteside and Associates to provide the remaining project consulting services: permitting, design, bidding and construction administration.

Schematic design proceeded at a steady pace considering site challenges and the county submitted for the project wetland permit in December of 2017.  In January of 2018 the wetland permit was placed on public notice. 

Rendering of Proposed Event Lawn

In January of 2018 the wetland permit was placed on public notice. In March of 2019 wetland permits were issued and the project was construction-ready.

The estimated cost of construction is $13M. Voters will have the opportunity to approve $38M in funding for this park project and others through a voter referendum on November 5th. 

Ashley River Park Master Plan