Parks


The update is there is no update.

According to their website, the Parks and Rec dept. were revealing their draft master plan on Sept. 7th, and public meetings were scheduled for the 12th and 13th.
However, there is no web posting of the master plan, and no more information on the public meeting that’s ostensibly scheduled for today, Sept. 12.

Also, I’ve received no response from my email requests for more information, and the phone number I’ve tried goes to voicemail.

Another strike against public involvement in planning for Richmond.  Anyone found any news about this?

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The Department of Parks and Recreation will, according to their website, reveal their draft master plan tomorrow. No word about how and where it will be released, I’ll keep my eyes out for it.

Two public meetings are listed- September 12 & 13. No location or time is noted (though information is still up about the July public meetings).

Sept. 17th should be a presentation to city council, with the plan finalized by the end of the month.

Let’s hope more details are forthcoming quickly.

I was unable to attend the Monroe Park planning meeting last week, nor was I able to find a report on-line anywhere. So I emailed the guy who’d sent out the meeting notice, Thomas Potterfield, a City Planner in the Community Development Department at the city. His response:

“We had about 75 people. After a presentation from our consultants on existing conditions and program options. We divided into 8 groups and each group identified activities/features for the park and where they should be placed.

At this point we do not have a report on the meeting. We are compiling data and will come back to the community with a preliminary plan.”

I’ll keep my eyes out for this plan.

Here’s yet another chance for the public to help shape development in Richmond: a “workshop to explore the community’s thoughts and ideas for [Monroe] park improvements,” to be held tonight, Thursday, April 19th, from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM in the first floor meeting room in VCU’s Brandt Hall (720 West Franklin Street).

So bring all your wild and crazy ideas tonight and let’s get some creativity in this city!

The Fan District Association and VCU have been trying for a while to get traction on redesigning the park. Some time ago, six master plans were created by Virginia Tech landscape architecture students, all of which can be accessed from the Fan District webpage. Their plans were made without thoughts of feasibility or cost, which makes them interesting to look at but unlikely to be realized.

Ideas included adding new programmable fountains, reflecting pools, an art walk, and gardens. Here’s one example:

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The city also has its own master plan, which requires much less radical change and cost than the VT plans, of course. You can see it here.

And here’s the press release about this evening’s meeting:

HOW DO YOU ENVISION THE FUTURE OF MONROE PARK?

Once one of Richmond’s most visited parks, Monroe Park today is underused and worn looking. The Park is situated in a prime location where downtown and the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) campus meet. Here is a broadly diverse and rapidly growing community including university students, neighborhood residents, a variety of businesses, entertainment venues, and religious institutions. How well does historic Monroe Park meet the needs of these groups?

Currently, planning efforts are underway to renew and revitalize Monroe Park, one of Richmond’s most unique open spaces. We need your help in this effort to ensure that future plans for the park reflect your needs and ideas.

Toward this end, the Monroe Park Advisory Council, the City of Richmond, and VCU are co-sponsoring a Monroe Park Workshop to explore the community’s thoughts and ideas for park improvements.

The Workshop will be held on Thursday, April 19th, 2007 from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM in the first floor meeting room in VCU’s Brandt Hall located at 720 West Franklin Street.

Monroe Park is your park. Let’s work together to plan improvements that will result in a place we will all frequent and enjoy. Together we can ensure that Monroe Park will be a place of great pride for generations to come.

We look forward to working with you on April 19th.