City parks panel briefed on reopening, new names for some facilities

The Charlottesville Parks and Recreation Advisory Board met Thursday night, about ten weeks before outdoor pools would be scheduled to open. However, the continuing pandemic and state of emergency could mean delays for this year.  In February, the advisory board indicated support for planning for a normal opening. Ned Michie is the chair.

“Staff are in favor of opening those pools on time and safely and are working with City Council who is really going to be the deciding voice, the City Council working with the city manager,” Michie said.  

Several people spoke in favor of the pools opening so swim teams can have a full season. Parks and Recreation Director Todd Brown said Council may take up the matter on Monday.

“The City Council  is working with the City Manager on the decision of when and what we will open and what activities we will be holding or they will allow us to hold,” Brown said.

The matter is not listed on the Council’s agenda, but Brown said a recommendation might come anyway. 

(download March 12 letter from parks board to City Council)

Brown said staff are preparing to get the facilities ready to open, and transition plans are being crafted based on CDC guidelines. If pools do open, Brown said the city will need to be ready to hire people back as lifeguards. 

“A couple things that are going on that are planned and some things that we’re hiring for,” Brown said. “The City Market is going to open downtown on April 10 as a drive-through. Throughout the month of April we will be assessing as the guidelines change how and when we can open that up into a walk-up situation as normal. Summer camps at school sites have been approved and we are hiring staff for that. Our summer camps that we hold at rec centers have not been approved.” 

The parks board also took action on recommendations for names for new parks. 

  • A 27 acre property across from Azalea Park is slated to be called Azalea Park West
  • A property on Moores Creek that includes the foundation of the Hartmans Mill is recommended to be called Mill Park. 
  • Davis Field is recommended to be called Unity Field at Northeast Park. The rectangular field is rented out to the Soccer Organization Charlottesville Area.
  • Heyward Community Forest near the Ragged Mountain Natural Area is recommended to retain that name to honor Jane Heyward
  • A stretch of land along the John Warner Parkway is recommended to be called Butterfly Greenway

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the March 14, 2021 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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