Leading global design firm, Stantec has received approval from Columbia, South Carolina’s City’s Design/Development Review Commission for the revitalization project of Finlay Park, one of Columbia’s largest and most notable public parks. Stantec serves as the prime consultant on the project having led the 2015 master plan and provides overall project management and landscape architecture design.

Revitalization efforts will retain the iconic Spiral Fountain and will feature a cascading waterfall to a newly renovated central pond which will be naturalized with gentle sloping littoral shelves to promote visitor safety. New supporting facilities include a new events stage and lawn, restrooms, splash pad, strolling gardens, bouldering walls and plaza overlook that captures vistas of the skyline of Downtown Columbia.

“The new visionary renovations to Finlay Park will enhance the quality of life of downtown Columbia, while also attracting new business and investors to the region,” said Assistant City Manager Henry Simons. “Columbia citizens have been waiting for Finlay Park’s revitalization, and we are excited about the connectivity and recreational engagement this will bring to our Main and Gervais Street and Vista corridor, and our entire growing downtown population.”

“Collaborating with Stantec and the entire design team has been crucial in evolving the community-driven goals of our masterplan,” added Todd Martin, Parks Planner and Landscape Architect for the city of Columbia. “The revitalized park will offer innovative programming for the community to enjoy in a safe, beautiful and sustainable park setting.”

Finlay Park opened in its current form in 1991 and long served as a centerpiece for recreation, events, and family gatherings. The redesign of Finlay Park respects the original goals and objectives of revered southern landscape architect Robert Marvin while improving accessibility to all amenities and addressing safety concerns that currently exist in the park. The new Finlay Park will provide better links to each destination, creating a park-in-motion for the community. This design will improve circulation and engage users through a series of diverse interconnected spaces while increasing accessibility, safety, and visibility with the aim to renew daily interest for outdoor leisure.

“Parks play a vital role in keeping communities healthy and active,” said Stantec Project Manager Jenny Horne. “Once complete, the revitalized Finlay Park will give Columbia residents and visitors alike a place to connect, relax, and play for many years to come.”

Stantec’s partners in the revitalization of Finlay Park include Civitas, Inc, a nationally recognized landscape architecture firm specializing in park planning and design, local architecture firm LS3P, Chao and Associates to provide site structural and site engineering, W.P. Law for aquatics and water feature design, and Buford Goff & Associates for engineering design services.

“We are proud to share that the revitalization of Finlay Park respects the original goals and objectives of revered South Carolina landscape architect Robert Marvin,” said Heather Mizer from Civitas. “The newly-designed park will aim to provide better links to each destination, creating a park-in-motion for the community.”

The city intends to break ground on the project by spring of 2023.