Riverfront Park improvements planned this fall

August 29, 2023 | Fredericksburg Business News |

The City’s planned improvements to Riverfront Park are continuing to move forward, with the public restrooms nearing the final planning stages.

The restrooms were originally planned to be open this summer, however, City staff and the design teams have been working diligently to ensure that the building’s plans will work within the known floodplain as outlined in FEMA’s April 2023 Flood Insurance Rate Maps. The restroom building has been fully funded, the design has received a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Architectural Review Board, and the project is currently in the permitting stage. The restrooms are expected to be in place for the upcoming holiday season.

The meadow, which is the hillside area between the Rappahannock River and the park’s promenade, has grown in significantly this summer with a wide variety of plant species to be viewed, including Mountain Mint, Virginia Wild Rye, Fox Sedge and Black Eyed Susan. Park patrons will soon be able to walk through mowed paths once most of the fences are removed in October. The sandstone benches and the second platform bench area will offer views of the river, and those walking along the park’s paved promenade can sit on the edge to take in both the meadow and river.

Plans for the performance stage are also under way. Design parameters for the covered stage are being written, and an Invitation for Bids will be released in the coming months. Pending adequate funding, construction on the stage is expected to start early in 2024.

Riverfront Park, located at 701 Sophia St., opened in May 2022. Park visitors have been enjoying the fantastic river views while relaxing in the open spaces and children’s play area. As the City’s first Smart Park, Riverfront Park’s amenities include free Wi-Fi, solar-powered lights and security cameras. Located across the street from the City’s public parking garage, this park is a short walk to downtown businesses, art galleries and restaurants — and just two blocks from the Visitor Center (706 Caroline St.) and its existing public restrooms. The park, meant to be a hub for downtown events and culture, is a collaborative work to live a vision outlined as many as three decades ago. Riverfront Park is open daily, and is closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. For more information, please visit fredericksburgva.gov or call 540-372-1086.

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