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Richmond opens first pop-up park

Richmonders and others from around the region came out to the city's first pop up park in early-May.
Daniel Klein
/
Richmond Parks and Rec
Richmonders and others from around the region came out to the city's first pop up park in early-May.

Richmond City Parks and Rec and other local organizations are hoping to add some parks to one of the city’s most paved-over neighborhoods and beyond.

They’re calling it a pop-up park. It involves closing a section of less-used road, putting up some barriers and adding benches and other amenities to make the area fun for kids and adults alike.

I visited the first of such parks where, about $10,000 and a handful of picnic tables later, folks came from around the region to enjoy the sunshine. It’s located between Scott's Addition and the Museum District along a stretch of Cutshaw Avenue. Local neighborhood association member Jeremy Hoffman said the project was three years in the making and showed what could be possible for the growing neighborhoods nearby.

“We can provide a safe pedestrian environment right off Broad St. without spending millions of dollars,” Hoffman said.

Katherine Jordan, who represents the neighborhood on Richmond City Council, said the park was the first in what would hopefully become many such conversions of lesser-used roads into family friendly parks. 

“We’re working on de-paving projects around the city, more third spaces, outdoor spaces," Jordan told Radio IQ. "I love seeing this come to life.”

The draw of the new space was enough for the Gómez family from Petersburg to make the trip. Alberto and Maria, along with their one-month-old Miles, loved to have a place to sit down in between visits to local shops and restaurants.

“It’s cool, they make parks for kids to hang out," Alberto said. "In busy areas, there’s lots of stuff to do around here, but kind of, you know, sometimes it’s nice to just sit down and relax."

The park will remain open through May 22nd.

Brad Kutner is Radio IQ's reporter in Richmond.