The Kitselman Trailhead and Park project is a strategic re-branding of Muncie, Indiana, establishing a threshold and gateway into the City from points East. The design contributes to this re-branding with three shifts: a change in the character of the City from industrial center to a hub of green industry, the unification of the Cardinal Greenway and the White River Trail system, and creating a significant gathering space for the citizens and visitors of this revivified metropolis. The current project area of 298 acres encompasses many pivotal landscape typologies into one challenging project: a post-industrial Superfund brownfield; the embrace of riverfront, trail connections and historic infrastructure; and urban design.
A key impetus for this project is the relocation of an Indiana Select Historic Bridge 85 to this site to be utilized as the connection point of the two trails. At the same time, the levees in this region needed to be raised to account for the new FEMA standards. The design of the project took advantage of these constraints by carefully shaping the required land form and fill to create unique spaces along the river. Here the ruin and nature are celebrated to create a unique composition that positions Muncie through its industrial history to a new gateway for environmentalism, sustainability and natural beauty.