Project Type: Master Plan
Location: Gulf Shores, AL
Size: 6,150 acres
Role: Gulf Coast Sustainability Specialist
Watershed is proud to join the master planning team for Gulf State Park, led by internationally recognized Sasaki Associates, and supported by a team of local experts.
Gulf State Park is one of Alabama’s most cherished assets; it preserves 6,150 acres of pristine coastal scenery and wildlife habitat on the historic Alabama Gulf Coast and has more than 600,000 annual visitors. Gulf State Park stands out from other Gulf Coast destinations because of its size and the diversity of its preserved ecosystems; there’s simply nowhere else like it on the Gulf Coast.
The Gulf State Park Master Plan is a comprehensive approach to restoring and enhancing Gulf State Park. The Master Plan builds on the park’s unique character to enhance the park as an international benchmark of environmental and economic sustainability, making it a place where every visitor can connect with nature.
The idea is that the Master Plan provides long-term vision for Gulf State Park; it is the road-map to making the park an “international benchmark of economic and environmental sustainability demonstrating best practices for outdoor recreation, education, and hospitable accommodations.” The Master Plan integrates the five Gulf State Park Enhancement Project components with existing park elements like the Campground and Pavilion, ensuring these near-term investments in the park are best leveraged to create an environmentally and economically sustainable park for Alabama. The Enhancement Project elements include enhancing the visitor experience, building a learning campus, creating an interpretive center, rebuilding a lodge at Gulf State Park, and restoring the dunes. These five elements are Phase 1 of the Master Plan. The Master Plan also suggests opportunities for additional improvements to enhance the park’s potential to become a one-of-a-kind environmental and education destination on the Gulf Coast. These additional improvements are included in Phases 2 and 3 of the Master Plan.
The Master Plan was shaped by feedback from 2,600+ responses to an online survey, attendees at the three community open houses and two mini-open houses, and stakeholders, officials, and park staff.
For more information about the Gulf State Park Master Plan, and to access the presentation materials from the Master Planning Public Open Houses, please visit: http://mygulfstatepark.com.