Alongside E2 Environmental Consultants, McKee Carson was selected to develop the reuse design for Mary Alice Park, a former pesticide formulation and packaging facility which eventually became a Superfund Site under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As part of the EPA's "Return to Use" initiative, the former Arlington Blending and Packaging site, located in the town of Arlington, Tenn., 23 miles northeast of Memphis, is one of only 12 nationwide selected as demonstration projects for the initiative.
During the company's operation, spills and leakage of products occurred, resulting in soil, ditch sediment, and groundwater contamination on the two acre parcel. Remediation of the park began in 1996 and included excavation, stockpiling, treatment, and backfilling of over 41,000 tons of contaminated soil over most of the site.
The work on the park began in 2004 with a series of meetings held with the neighbors of the park. Once the final conceptual design was approved by the residents of the Mary Alice neighborhood, McKee Carson further developed the design and construction documents for implementation.
The park's components include looping trails for pedestrian and bicycle access. The more active programs include exercise stations and a half-court basketball court. Mary Alice Commons is a grassy area where neighbors can picnic, play ball or gather together during neighborhood events while Mary Alice Gardens is a place for residents to relax with benches and bleachers located throughout the site.
There is also a location to commemorate the site's history and celebrate the site's transformation from an industrial operation to a contaminated landscape and finally into a neighborhood park. This marker is located where an existing monitoring well marks the entrance to the park. This is the only monitoring well (pictured at left) that remains above ground; all other monitoring wells at the site are flush mounted and planted with seasonal bulbs to highlight the ongoing process of renewal that is occurring at the park.