Danville celebrates groundbreaking of Riverfront Park

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 4:52 PM EDT
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - The Danville community is celebrating the start of construction on the new Riverfront Park.

Danville residents and leaders gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony Friday.

The new park will be beside the White Mill, now known as Dan River Falls.

“I’m very excited because there’s three things that seem to bring people together,” said Diana Schwartz, CEO of the River District Association. “That’s music, food, and the great outdoors. So, this will just help us find another place to come together and understand that Danville is for everyone.”

The 4-and-a-half-acre park will feature playgrounds, a main lawn area for events and concerts that will seat around 400 people, and a unique splash pad.

“Right at street level is an urban splashpad, which is suitable for people to get in, but also is very artistic,” said Bill Sgrinia, Director of Danville Parks and Recreation. “It can be choreographed to lights and music. After dinner, you could come over and watch the fountain.”

It will also include several river access points and a pier overlook that extends onto the river.

Danville Parks and Recreation conducted surveys and held community meetings to tailor the park to the wants and needs of residents.

“There’s access to the river in several different points and spots. That was one of our key aspects. We did want to have that interaction with the river. The process of planning this park and building this park has been a very public process. We engaged with people to find out what they wanted in their downtown park,” added Sgrinia.

Construction on the park began last week. Half of the $14 million investment came from donors in the community.

“We have a lot of foundations and businesses that have supported us. It was an interesting time, because we were doing all this during COVID. But, our partners hung in there, and it really provided great support for us,” explained Sgrinia.

They say the park will be complete and open to the public in the summer of 2024.