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Riverside Park Improvements
Riverside Park is Lynchburg’s second-oldest park, and one of the most beloved in Lynchburg. Its 47 acres display the best of Central Virginia’s rolling terrain, with wonderful views of the James River from several vantage points in the park. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to renovate a park. The renovations at Riverside Park would not have been possible without the considerable financial and volunteer support it has received from the beginning of the project.
Renovations to the park began when the City received SAFTEA-LU grant funding from the Virginia Department of Transportation and appropriated additional monies in Capital Improvement Project funding for renovations to Riverside Park. The first fully-accessible public playground, known as the Playcore, was funded by a donation of cash and in-kind services by the Lynchburg Rotary Club along with City Capital dollars. The Lynchburg Kiwanis Club has donated countless hours of volunteer work to restore the locomotive, passenger and caboose cars of the train located in the outdoor Transportation Area, and the Lynchburg Historical Foundation raised funds to help build a protective shed over the remains of the hull of the historic packet boat, Marshall. The Lynchburg Garden Club funded and installed the new landscaped garden around the historic Gazebo, and the Lynchburg Junior League donated money for the wildly popular Sprayground. The Lynchburg Tree Stewards have funded and supported the planting of numerous new tree plantings in the park.
The Planning Process Continues
At a public meeting about renovations to the park participants saw a brief overview of the project from City staff, consultants from Lardner/Klein Landscape Architects, P.C., and Wiley & Wilson Engineering firm. Participants reviewed a brief overview of the project, learned about overall plan goals, discussed the proposed project schedule, and learned how the proposed changes might impact the park.
After final decisions about different components of the project are agreed upon by City staff, architects, and engineers the City prepares detailed bidding documents about the project requirements that construction firms can respond to. The City uses a competitive bidding process as mandated by law to achieve the best results for the city. Some segments of the Master Plan were sent out to bid in February of 2014. Specific improvements listed in the bid documents include: renovation of the interior trail system to improve access and accessibility; design and development of the protective train shed; and historic interpretation of park features. After the City reviews the different bid proposals, VDOT, which provided much of the funding for the project under a SAFTEA-LU grant, will review and authorize approval. Only at that point can the City move forward with construction.
If you were unable to attend the meeting but would like to comment, or need more information, please contact Andrew Reeder, Parks Manager or call the Parks and Recreation Department at (434) 455-5858.