After the tragic shooting death of nine year old Markiya Dickson Memorial Day weekend in 2019, The Department of Parks, Recreation, and Community Facilities (DPRCF) began conversations with the community about redesigning and improving the facilities in the park. The application to the Urban Design Committee Review stated that the purpose of these improvements would be to “1) prioritize the safety and security of residents and park visitors and 2) better align park programming with a community-driven vision” (Application for Urban Design Committee Review).
In July 2019, Timmons Group conducted a site visit and project kick off meeting with the DPRCF, followed by tabling at a National Night Out event in the park and the completion of a site inventory and analysis. The first public meeting was held September 10, 2019 to facilitate discussion on the community’s vision. A survey was distributed both at the meeting and online. This feedback drove the two initial master plan concepts which were presented at a subsequent meeting on October 22, 2019.
Based on further feedback, a final master plan was submitted December 2019. This final plan was again put before the community where several suggestions were made for a dog park and to retain the tennis course, but the DPRCF elected to not include those amenities (Application for Urban Design Committee Review). According to the Application, the City did not at the time of the application have any funding for the proposed improvements and no construction was currently planned, nor was their a timeline for completion of the project. The application stated that full implementation would likely take upwards of three years to achieve.
The application was recommended for approval with conditions by the Urban Design Committee (UDC) on May 7, 2020. According to the Action Details from that meeting, the UDC recommended the pedestrian bollards not be utilized within the park, the applicant consider previous paving in the material selection for sidewalks and paths, and that new signage be sensitive the character of the surrounding historic neighborhood. On May 18, 2020, the Planning commission approved the plan as well.
As of September 2022, benches have been removed around the pavilion and the playground area has been completely dismantled, but no other improvements to the park have been made.
FRIENDS OF FONTICELLO PARK
2715 Bainbridge Street
Richmond, VA 23225
© 2023 Friends of Fonticello Park, Richmond, Virginia. The Friends of Fonticello Park is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.